Manchester United 4 Crystal Palace 0

Saturday 30 September 2017 17:30

Romelu Lukaku matched Andrew Cole's Manchester United record of scoring seven goals in his first seven league matches as he added to earlier strikes from Juan Mata and a double from Marouane Fellaini in a thumping 4-0 win over struggling Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. The result meant Jose Mourinho's men leapfrogged Manchester City, albeit temporarily, at the top of the table.

Mata sent United en route to another three points after just three minutes, latching on to Marcus Rashford's cross, before Fellaini converted Ashley Young's delivery just after the half-hour mark.

The big Belgian then grabbed his second at the start of the second period, nodding in Rashford's wicked free-kick, before Lukaku completed the rout late on by tapping in from close range. At the other end, David De Gea's clean sheet means the Reds have now equalled the club's best-ever clean sheet record at the start of a Premier League campaign.

Marouane Fellaini scored two goals in a game for the first time in his United career.

Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Fellaini were all fit to start, while Rashford and Mata also returned to the starting XI, and it was the latter who repaid Mourinho's trust in him after just three minutes.

Arriving into this one on the back of a trip to Russia meant the Reds could perhaps have been forgiven for a sluggish start, but Mata had other ideas, as he tucked in Rashford's pull-back after the young prodigy had turned Joel Ward inside out before handing it on a plate for the Spanish playmaker to tuck home.

United seemed to take the foot off the accelerator as the first half wore on. That allowed Roy Hodgson's men to enjoy a flurry of corners, before De Gea was tested for the first time via a powerful effort from Bakary Sako, which the Spaniard did well to palm away.

Then, it was as if the United players had told themselves 'enough was enough' as, against the run of play, the Reds doubled the lead via Fellaini, who volleyed home Young's pin-point cross at the back post.

The Reds effectively killed the contest early in the second half as Rashford swung in a dangerous free-kick from the left, which was diverted in via a glancing header from Fellaini.

Young tried his luck from 20 yards, while at the other end Sako miscued a header before blazing over from 25 yards as Palace looked to grab their first goal of the season.

Lukaku almost netted his 11th goal of the campaign in all competitions when he dragged a shot wide from 15 yards; however, the big striker was not to be denied moments later as substitute Anthony Martial played his impactful part once again, pulling the ball back for the Belgian to equal Cole's mark.

Goals: United 4 Crystal Palace 0 Video

Goals: United 4 Crystal Palace 0

Juan Mata opened the scoring when the Eagles had their wings clipped at Old Trafford in September 2017...

United have now scored four goals in a game six times this season and the win matched the club's record tally of 19 points from the first 21 on offer, a standard set in 1999 and repeated in 2011.


United: De Gea; Valencia (c), Smalling, Jones, Young; Matic, Fellaini, Mata (Herrera 77), Mkhitaryan (Lingard 65), Rashford (Martial 71); Lukaku.

Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Blind, Darmian.

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Sakho, Delaney, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Milivojevic, Cabaye, Schlupp (McArthur 68), Puncheon (c) (Riedewald 68), Sako (Ladapo 74).

Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Mutch, Lee.