Travelling to Crystal Palace on a Monday night is not the easiest task for a football fan, but that didn't stop around 2,000 Manchester United supporters from completing the journey to Selhurst Park and their commitment was duly rewarded on 91 minutes, when Nemanja Matic half-volleyed his first-ever goal for the club to clinch a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory in added time.
The relegation-threatened Eagles were heading towards a shock win after goals from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt. But Jose Mourinho's men fought back and drew level through Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, before our Serbian summer signing struck a decisive winner.
Matic’s strike inspired scenes of ecstasy in the away end and the players were quick to join in the celebrations, showcasing the connection between those on the pitch and in the stands.
“You could see the emotions when we were celebrating with the fans right at the end,” says Smalling.
“It’s been a while since there was a comeback like that, but it was a great feeling. The fans deserved that.”
Check out the scenes that followed Matic's winner...
📹 | Mental scenes in the away end when Matic scored the winner. pic.twitter.com/Kmt32twSye— Man Utd Stuff (@ManUtdStuff) March 5, 2018
OUR MAN AT SELHURST PARK
Editor-In-Chief Ian McLeish
“There’s an old United chant to the Amarillo tune along the lines of:
“Show me the way to Aston Villa, we're gonna see a five goal thriller, restricted view behind a pillar, and Man United play for me…”. If you substitute Aston Villa for Crystal Palace, that’s pretty much the experience of many Reds on Monday night. The rickety old school nature of Selhurst Park makes for a brilliant away experience, particularly a midweek match under the lights, but while the evocative stadium helps create a crackling atmosphere sadly lacking from some of the league’s newer grounds, don’t go expecting perfect sight lines of the pitch.
“My view of Palace’s opening goal was mercifully obscured by a skinny slab of steel helping to hold up the roof of the Arthur Wait Stand, but as the Reds battled their way back into the match and as Nemanja Matic took aim from the edge of the box with seconds remaining, you didn’t need an unhindered view of the Palace goal to know the ball had smashed its way into the back of the net, sealing another classic United comeback. The sheer bedlam engulfing the away end told you that.”
Another memorable moment in the away end and absolute scenes when that Matic strike went in...Gotta be in my top 5 moments watching #MUFC... Unbelievable and most importantly a huge huge victory! Also @Shane_eastman1 first away game and what a game to choose .. 🙌🙌🙏— George Watts (@gwatts16) March 5, 2018
MOURINHO WAS FULL OF PRAISE
“Crystal Palace and Manchester United's away fans had a big responsibility because this stadium is always special,” Jose told us after the final whistle.
“But our fans, away, they were once more amazing in the support. We were losing 2-0 and they were there, supporting and supporting, and pushing, and pushing, and pushing. The fans were amazing.”
The manager then looked ahead to series of massive home games against Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton,with a possible reward for supporters in mind.
“We have three matches at Old Trafford and if possible, we give some tickets to the United fans that were here today.”
Jose: As usual our away fans were amazingVideo
APPRECIATION FROM THE PLAYERS
The efforts of our travelling fans at Selhurst Park did not go unnoticed and many of the players thanked them afterwards...
Wow! Team spirit + comebacks = 3points. Headache but it doesn’t matter when you win like that. Away support tonight 👏🏾👏🏾🤘🏾🤘🏾👹👹 pic.twitter.com/Qq0Ek1wzso— Ashley Young (@youngy18) March 5, 2018
Last minute winners. 🙌🏼 Not many better feelings. Nemanja 👏🏼👏🏼 I was shouting to pass it. 😂😂 Shows what I know. Our fans were top drawer pic.twitter.com/378HmGyMEg— Michael Carrick (@carras16) March 5, 2018
Thanks to everyone who supported the lads on Monday - it's always appreciated!