Crystal Palace 0 Manchester United 0
Manchester United were held 0-0 by a resolute Crystal Palace side on a foggy night at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.
In an end-to-end first half, the Reds created a number of chances, but none were decisive. During the second period, the hosts become more defensively stubborn as the match headed to a stalemate.
The scoreline means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have drawn the last three games 0-0 but at least the point keeps the Reds ahead of third-placed Leicester City, with that huge game to come against leaders Manchester City at the weekend.
Pics from Palace Gallery
Browse the best match photos from our league visit to Selhurst Park.
FIRST HALF – ONLY GOING CLOSE
Kicking off in south London, the Reds looked eager not to let Roy Hodgson’s side settle into any sort of rhythm, pressing hard whenever out of possession.
Despite the pressure, it was the hosts who registered the first shot of the night, but Christian Benteke would have wanted a better connection from inside the area as he stuck the ball well over the bar.
Shortly after, the Eagles looked to threaten again as Jordan Ayew worked himself into a good position in a wide area. His cross was deflected behind, though, and the resulting corner was gathered comfortably by Dean Henderson in the air.
From that point, United were on top in the first half and Vicente Guaita in the Palace goal was forced to make a key save as Nemanja Matic took on our first shooting chance. Bruno Fernandes teed up the Serbian as the Reds recycled a dangerous Mason Greenwood ball across goal and Matic’s deflected shot was looping towards the top corner until Guaita’s glove managed to tip it away for a corner.
Edinson Cavani then hooked an effort over the bar from the subsequent set play, having seen Harry Maguire’s header cleared off the line, but the threat to Palace didn’t ease for long. Marcus Rashford was played in excellently by Luke Shaw, and his low shot appeared to have the Palace stopper beaten as it slipped the wrong side of the upright.
After a frantic opening 20 minutes, the game settled slightly and while the Londoners enjoyed a little more possession than before, they weren’t effective in creating anything overly threatening.
A minute before the interval, Aaron Wan-Bissaka curled a low cross into the danger area, leaving Cavani practically jogging on the spot at the back post to turn it home, but a desperate Joel Ward lunge towards his own goal successfully stopped the ball from reaching the Uruguayan and kept the scores level at the break.
SECOND HALF – FRUSTRATED IN THE FOG
Like in the opening 45 minutes, it was Benteke having an early shooting opportunity, but again he was unsuccessful, albeit from a harder chance which he tried to execute acrobatically.
As the hosts' bright start after the interval continued, the Belgium striker tried to create a goal for a team-mate, laying the ball off to Ayew who put his effort on target, but it was easily saved by Henderson.
Another chance for the hosts came in the form of a free kick just outside the area after Fred was adjudged to have fouled Eberechi Eze. Luka Milivojevic stepped up to take the set piece but he was unable to get the ball over the wall.
After coping with a lively first fifteen minutes of the half from Palce, United began to take control of possession again, but despite plenty of effort from Solskjaer's men, the home side stood regimented in their efforts to keep us out.
Scott McTominay and Daniel James were introduced around the 75-minute mark in a bid to find a breakthrough and the Wales winger nearly did it immediately, leaping in the box to meet the ball but only winning a corner. It was then the turn of Mason Greenwood to threaten, as he cut inside to unleash a powerful shot but it was just over the bar.
With the spoils looking destined to be shared, Patrick Van Aanholt got in behind the United defence in the 89th minute but Henderson was on hand and out quickly to close the angle and make sure there was no late winner for the hosts.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Cahill, Kouyate, van Aanholt, Milivojevic, McCarthy (Riedewald 62), Townsend, Eze (Schlupp 84), Ayew, Benteke.
Substitutes not used: Butland, Dann, Mateta, Wickham, Batshuayi, Kelly, Hannam.
United: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred (McTominay 74); Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani (James 76).
Substitutes not used: Grant, Lindelof, Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams, Amad, Shoretire.