Ashley Young

Crystal Palace 1 Manchester United 3

Wednesday 27 February 2019 22:14

A Romelu Lukaku brace and an Ashley Young strike secured a club-record eighth consecutive away win in all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park.

The Reds led at the break through Lukaku's neat finish and doubled the advantage when the Belgian hooked home superbly, following headers by Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof.

Although Joel Ward pulled one back with a diving header, skipper Young made the points safe with a firm finish from a tight angle in the closing stages.

Alexis Sanchez launches the ball forward in the first half.

Solskjaer was forced to make three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Liverpool on Sunday. Fred, Diogo Dalot and Alexis Sanchez came in for injured trio Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford, though the latter recovered enough for a place on the bench.

The Reds, resplendent in pink at Selhurst Park, had the first real opportunity inside the opening 10 minutes. Shaw’s excellent corner found Lukaku, who had lost his marker. The Belgian made good contact on the volley but his effort went just over the bar.

Palace responded with a near-miss themselves, Andros Townsend putting James McArthur’s low cross high and wide of David De Gea’s right-hand post from close range.

The Reds who took the lead just after the half-hour mark through Lukaku. Shaw, again the provider, skipped past Townsend and had the Palace defence retreating into the penalty box. The left-back laid the ball off to our no. 9 who sorted his feet out well on the edge of the area, had one touch to set, and then curled a precise effort into the bottom-right corner catching Vicente Guaita by surprise.

Townsend, renowned for scoring stunning long-range goals, was the hosts' biggest threat. Creating space for himself just outside the area, he fired a low left-footed effort just wide before putting in a teasing cross for Jeffrey Schlupp, who couldn't direct his effort on target.

United were quick to put Palace under pressure after half-time. Diogo Dalot, playing in an advanced role, found space on the right to deliver a decent cross which Paul Pogba will perhaps be disappointed he headed over.

It wasn’t long before the Reds, and Lukaku, had our second, though. Palace failed to clear from a corner, with Smalling and Lindelof getting their heads to the ball before any of their counterparts. Lindelof’s header fell to Lukaku who did well to swivel and direct a left-footed effort over Guaita.

As the hosts found to their cost last year, 2-0 can be a dangerous scoreline and, this time, it was United who were made to sweat. Ward’s diving header at the back post from Schlupp’s dangerous cross gave Roy Hodgson’s side hope on 65 minutes and it was Palace who looked the more likely to score again in the following 10 minutes.

Romelu Lukaku crashes home to give United a two-goal lead.
Max Meyer, on for James McArthur, forced David De Gea’s first save of the evening and a Luka Milivojevic free-kick brushed the side-netting.

However, Young made sure of the three points in the 83rd minute. Lovely interplay between Pogba and Lukaku on the edge of the area allowed Pogba time to slot a ball through to Young, and the captain drilled a low effort across goal, with Ward unable to keep it out on the line.

James Garner came on as a late substitute to make his senior debut and this will be a special night for the 17-year-old midfielder, and the travelling fans who made themselves heard throughout in the capital.

Diogo Dalot makes strides down the right flank.

United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Garner 89); Dalot (Bailly 76), Pogba, Sanchez (Rashford 76); Lukaku.

Subs not used: Romero, Rojo, A. Pereira, Chong.

Scorers: Lukaku 33,52 Young 83

Booked: Alexis, Shaw, Lukaku. 

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Kelly, Ward, Tomkins, van Aanholt (Kouyate 82), Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur (Meyer 61), Schlupp, Zaha, Batshuayi (Benteke 78).

Subs not used: Hennessey, Dann, Riedewald, Ayew.

Scorers: Ward 66.

Booked: Kelly, Zaha.


United entertain Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday at 15:00 GMT.