Manchester United secured a crucial win tonight in their pursuit of a Champions League place as they finished as 0-2 winners against Crystal Palace. United are now 19 games unbeaten and are now only outside the top four on goal difference with two games left to play.
United started the game slowly, very much in keeping with their last couple of games and the three points today didn’t come without a few scares. Palace had a couple of half chances to take the lead in the first 45 minutes and David De Gea had to be alert to keep United level in the early stages. The Red Devil’s had no tempo to their passing with far too many passes were square or backwards and as a result they couldn’t get their in form front three in to the game. Towards the end of the first half United could count themselves a little fortunate when VAR sided with them when Victor Lindelof looked to have brought down Wilfred Zaha inside the penalty area. However a slight touch on the ball from the Swedish defender meant that VAR did not feel the on field referee had made a clear and obvious mistake. With half time fast approaching United were able to combine to great effect to for the first time. That man Bruno Fernandes pulling the strings and giving the ball to Marcus Rashford who’s magnificent piece of skill left two Palace defenders on their backside and he tucked the ball home to give United a vital lead.
United didn’t start the second half any better than they did the first. Ten minutes into the second half and United were given a huge let off when Jordan Ayew finished from close range but was judged to be offside by the barest of all margins thanks to VAR. United finally wrapped up the game with ten minutes to go, when Rashford set up, Anthony Martial who finished expertly into the far bottom corner.
David De Gea – 7.5/10
David made a number of smart saves and undoubtedly played his part in the win today and looked some way back to his best.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10
A good performance today from Aaron after being quiet in the last couple of games by his high standards. No doubt buoyed by returning to his old club. He played his part in the clean sheet with a solid defensive performance and was effective when going forward.
Victor Lindelof – 6.5/10
Despite clocking up another clean sheet, the defender was too slow moving the forward and was warned by his manager during the first half. He also had some less than convincing clearances, as well as being fortunate in not conceding a penalty.
Harry Maguire – 6.5/10
Like Lindelof, not his best performance and at times looked clumsy on the ball. He looked a threat from attacking corners but was unable to find the target. He should be scoring more goals from set pieces, something he will want to add to his game.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – 7/10
Played his first game for the club since 2017 but his performance was neat and tidy and provided more than adequate cover for Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams.
Scott McTominay – 6.5/10
Came in for cover for Nemanja Matic but had very little influence on the game and looked like he was lacking match fitness. He hasn’t been able to rediscover his pre-lockdown form since the restart of the league.
Paul Pogba – 7/10
Calm and composed in the middle of park but without having a big impact on the game. Was caught in possession a few times but is always looking to make a difference with his passing.
Bruno Fernandes – 7.5/10
Bruno was crucial in creating the first goal with yet another assist to add to his ever growing impressive stats. At times he struggled to get in to the game but would cleverly change his position to receive the ball.
Marcus Rashford – 8/10
My man of the match tonight. A quality performance, that included a great assist for United’s second and an even better finish for the vital opening goal of the game.
Anthony Martial – 7.5/10
A quieter night for the Anthony tonight but always looked a threat when on the ball. He managed to add to his goal tally with an expert finish and become the first French striker to score 17 goals in a Premier League season since Nicolas Anelka in the 08/09 season.
Mason Greenwood – 6.5/10
Mason looks like he could be ready for a rest, his last two performances have lacked the energy and quality he’s shown since the lockdown. He had very little impact on the game and uncharacteristically scuffed a great opportunity to score in the first half.
Nemanja Matic – 7/10
Replaced McTominay and brought a much needed calmness and quality to the midfield for the last half hour. He once again showed his importance to our current system.
Jesse Lingard – 6/10
Came on for Greenwood but looked devoid of any confidence as well as looking disinterested. Failed to impact the game in any way.