United v Palace: Things we noticed
Manchester United held on to a record a battling 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the Premier League, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford both on target for the Reds.
Casemiro was sent off for a straight red card with 20 minutes to go, as Erik ten Hag's side hung on to claim three more points in our quest for success this season.
Jeffrey Schlupp had grabbed a goal back for Patrick Vieira's side shortly after our no.18 was dismissed, but the Reds showed great determination and endeavour to see out the win.
Marcel Sabitzer made his United debut during our triumph and below are some of the key talking points from an enthralling 90-plus minutes of action...
With this Monday marking 65 years since the Munich Air Disaster claimed the lives of 23 people, Old Trafford paused for a poignant tribute, as both Erik ten Hag and Patrick Vieira laid floral wreaths in the centre circle ahead of kick-off. A minute's silence was also observed, as we remembered all those who were lost in 1958. A surfer flag was passed across the Stretford End, showing the iconic image of the Busby Babes lining up in Belgrade and the slogan 'We'll Never Die'.
Within just seven minutes on the clock at Old Trafford, United were ahead, with Fernandes slamming home our opener from the penalty spot. After a lengthy VAR check, Will Hughes was adjudged to have handled Rashford's attempted cross into the box, with referee Andre Marriner pointing to the spot after checking the pitchside monitor. Staggeringly, that penalty is only the second spot-kick awarded to the Reds in the Premier League during the 2022/23 campaign, with our only other one being scored by Anthony Martial against Manchester City at the Etihad back in October. Bruno's effort is also the earliest we've scored at home in the league this term.
Having opened the scoring, Bruno's influence was once again pivotal to our success during the course of the 90 minutes, with the Portugal international seemingly finding the perfect knack for popping up in midfield pockets to help hurt our opponents. Operating largely from the centre of the pitch, our no.8 wasn't afraid to also move out wide and interchange with players including Rashford and Antony. Standing in as captain again, Fernandes was also seen gesticulating and giving vital instructions to his team-mates around the pitch when needed.
13 HOME WINS ON THE SPIN
This victory over Crystal Palace was our 13th consecutive home win, the kind of run we have not witnessed since our staggering record of 20 straight successes from December 2010 to September 2011. With our last home defeat this season coming back in September against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, the Reds have since made Old Trafford something of a fortress. With at least another 11 games in M16 left this term, including nine in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag will hope to build further on this strong foundation as we head towards the business end of the 2022/23 campaign.
United will now be without another midfielder, for the next three games, after Casemiro was sent off for violent conduct during the second period after Antony was shoved to the ground by Jeffrey Schlupp. The 30-year-old will miss our next three domestic outings, home and away against Leeds United and at home to Leicester City, but he will be available for our Europa League games against Barcelona - arch rivals during his time with Real Madrid.
Introduced to a rapturous welcome at the Theatre of Dreams, Marcel Sabitzer marked his Reds bow with a victory, after slotting into a midfield three comprising himself, Fernandes and Fred. Showing some delicate touches and some smart link-up play in his brief cameo, we hope to see more of our first Austrian player, during the hectic schedule between now and the end of the campaign.