Crystal Palace v Manchester United – story of the match

Nemanja Matic struck in stoppage time as Manchester United came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Crystal Palace.

An unconvincing start from Jose Mourinho’s team contributed to goals from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt – the second shortly after half-time – but after repeatedly threatening they snatched all three points through Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and then Matic.

United’s initial sluggishness suggested they were distracted by the prospect of Saturday’s fixture with rivals Liverpool, but they fought back convincingly, extending Palace’s winless run to six and denying them a win that would have taken them from 18th to 13th in the Premier League.

Tweet of the match

Moment of the match

Midfielder Matic picked an opportune moment to grab his first United goal. The game was a minute into added time when the Serbia international unleashed a screamer from distance into the left corner to make Mourinho’s post-match press conference slightly easier.

Star man – Nemanja Matic

The 29-year-old was far from alone in producing a below-par first-half performance but he grew into the game and provided the decisive contribution with a moment of magic.

View from the bench

Crystal Palace v Manchester United – story of the match PLZ Soccer
Palace gave Jose Mourinho plenty to ponder (John Walton/PA)

In the end, Mourinho got the result he required as United moved back into second above Liverpool. However, their superb comeback from two goals down will not completely mask what was for large parts an extremely poor performance as United came close to three successive away league defeats for the first time since January 1996. Roy Hodgson must have been dreaming of an unlikely victory when Van Aanholt made it 2-0 but struggling Palace collapsed and remain in the bottom three having not won for seven weeks. And things do not get any easier, with games against Chelsea and Liverpool before the end of the month.

Data point

Crystal Palace v Manchester United – story of the match PLZ Soccer
It was another disappointing clash with Manchester United for Crystal Palace (John Walton/PA)

Palace have failed to win any of their 18 Premier League meetings with Manchester United – a Premier League record for most games against an opponent without victory. The Eagles – who have lost 15 and drawn three of those games – last beat United in the top-flight in May 1991, 3-0 at Selhurst Park.


Crystal Palace v Manchester United – story of the match PLZ Soccer
Chris Smalling starts the Manchester United comeback (John Walton/PA)

Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey (out of 10) 6, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 6, Martin Kelly 6, James Tomkins 6, Patrick van Aanholt 7, Andros Townsend 7, Luka Milivojevic 6, James McArthur 6, Jeffrey Schlupp 7, Christian Benteke 6, Alexander Sorloth 6. Subs: Jairo Riedewald (on for Schlupp, 80) 5.

Manchester United: David de Gea 7, Antonio Valencia 6, Chris Smalling 7, Victor Lindelof 5, Ashley Young 6, Nemanja Matic 7, Scott McTominay 5, Paul Pogba 6, Jesse Lingard 6, Romelu Lukaku 6, Alexis Sanchez 6. Subs: Marcus Rashford (on for McTominay, 46) 6, Juan Mata (on for Young, 67) 6, Luke Shaw (on for Valencia, 67) 5.

Who’s up next?

Chelsea v Crystal Palace (Premier League, March 10)

Manchester United v Liverpool (Premier League, March 10)

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