Manchester United 1 Crystal Palace 2

Saturday 24 August 2019 17:06

Manchester United were beaten by Crystal Palace for the first time in Premier League history as the Eagles ran out 2-1 victors at Old Trafford.

Daniel James looked to have rescued a point with a late curler after Jordan Ayew opened the scoring, completely against the run of play, in the first half. However, Patrick van Aanholt's stoppage-time winner stunned the home crowd who earlier, with 20 minutes left, saw Marcus Rashford strike the woodwork from the penalty spot as nothing went right for the Reds.

The hosts named an unchanged starting XI in the Premier League for the first time since a game against Arsenal in December 2017, and the seven substitutes were also the same as who were on duty at Wolves last Monday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for some continuity.

Daniel James tries to make something happen for the Reds at a sunny Old Trafford.

Solskjaer had urged his side to play at a high tempo but, in warm weather, it was a slow start, even if Scott McTominay did head a Luke Shaw corner over the top in only the sixth minute.

Shaw was getting forward to good effect, and profiting from some long-range passes by Harry Maguire out of defence, and he lashed off target with one attempt. Vicente Guaita was largely untroubled, even if he was right behind van Aanholt, when the Dutchman lunged to keep out James, after Shaw again bounded forward to unsettle the visitors.

Rashford struck a couple of free-kicks off target and United were clearly in the ascendancy with Palace barely mounting a serious attack. That was until Jeffrey Schlupp outjumped Victor Lindelof to head on for Ayew to run through, unchecked, and roll a simple finish wide of David De Gea for a shock opener.

Shaw was forced off with an injury he sustained while making one eye-catching sprint, with Ashley Young taking his place at left-back, and, although the club captain quickly dragged a loose ball well wide, it was the Eagles who enjoyed the better of the remainder of the half. Wilfried Zaha's shot was blocked by De Gea at his near post after the Londoners piled into the box to carve out the opportunity, but there was a possibility VAR may have disallowed any goal due to an offside.

Zaha started to bring out some of his party tricks, dribbling down the right, as his side were clearly given a major shot of confidence by the 32nd-minute goal.

The one noteworthy effort by the Reds in the closing stages of the opening half was another free-kick, this time taken by Paul Pogba, but with the same result as he shovelled his set-piece over the wall but also over the bar.

Attacking the Stretford End, there needed to be a response after the restart and there was a moment of danger for Palace when Young's deep cross was met by James at the far post, but deflected wide off van Aanholt.

Young had a sight of goal himself but it came at an awkward height and he was unable to get a proper connection. Many will feel the Reds should have had a penalty when Martial did well to spin on a McTominay pass inside the box to deceive Martin Kelly. The former Liverpool defender clearly held back the Frenchman, who still got a shot away as he fell but referee Paul Tierney was unconvinced.

Solskjaer introduced Mason Greenwood for Jesse Lingard but the visitors continued to stand firm until McTominay burst into the box to force a penalty in the 69th minute. Greenwood's pass was laid off by Martial and McTominay was tripped to hand the Reds a spot-kick for a third successive match this term.

Rashford, who scored a penalty against Chelsea, stepped up but, despite sending Guaita the wrong way, his shot struck the inside of the keeper's right-hand post, to the utter frustration of the majority at Old Trafford.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka comes up against his former team-mate Patrick van Aanholt.

James was harshly booked for simulation after being kicked by McArthur, as everything seemed to be going against Solskjaer's men.

McTominay fired wide, off balance and Pogba's header cleared the bar as United just could not muster a decisive effort. VAR threatened to intervene when Rashford latched on to a flick by James to speed past Kelly and was felled by the centre-back's challenge. Referee Tierney's initial decision stood and, with nine minutes left, the Reds were staring down the barrel of a costly defeat.

However, James looked to have earned a point when he curled home beautifully, after Pogba tackled Zaha and combination play by Martial and Rashford created the opening. It came with a minute of normal time left and should have sparked a late siege on Guaita's goal.

Instead, three minutes into the five that were added on due to the numerous stoppages in play, substitute Christian Benteke tackled Pogba to spark a move that culminated in van Aanholt's drive going through De Gea's defences to hand Palace an unlikely winner.

Rashford curses his luck after his penalty hits the post and goes wide.


United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Young 34); Pogba, McTominay (Mata 85); James, Lingard (Greenwood 56), Rashford; Martial.

Substitutes: Romero, Tuanzebe, Andreas, Matic.

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Kelly, Cahill, van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Kouyate (McCarthy 83), McArthur; Schlupp (Townsend 80), Ayew (Benteke 75), Zaha.

Substitutes: Hennessey, Dann, Meyer, Wickham. 

Scorers: James 89 | Ayew 32, van Aanholt 90+3. 

Booked: Wan-Bissaka, James | Milivojevic, Cahill, Zaha, Guaita.

Attendance: 73,454.

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