FROM OLD TRAFFORD – Crystal Palace moved above Manchester United in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
Roy Hodgson’s men grabbed the points thanks to a brilliant strike from Danish defender Joachim Andersen, who hammered the ball into the top corner after United failed to deal with Eberechi Eze’s free-kick.
The win takes Palace into ninth place, leapfrogging United who drop to tenth and were roundly booed off the field after a dire display.
How the game unfolded
The game was slow to get going and it took ten minutes for the first chance in either box. Sofyan Amrabat gave the ball away to Jordan Ayew in midfield and Casemiro brought him down, being booked and handing Palace a chance with a free-kick 30-yards out. United cleared the initial ball in from Eze but it came to Andersen, who curled a brilliant cross back into box for his central defender colleague Marc Guehi who headed wide six yards out.
United broke on the counter down to the other end and a chance fell for Rasmus Hojlund. The striker flicked the ball beyond the on-rushing Sam Johnstone but Tyrick Mitchell got back well to clear the ball off the line.
United then presented Palace with a great chance as Jean-Philippe Mateta played Jeffrey Schlupp clean through but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and the chance was gone.
However, Palace didn’t have long to wait for a goal as they opened the scoring in the 25th minute. Amrabat needlessly barged into the back of Jordan Ayew to give away a free-kick just outside the box. Eze’s delivery found its way to Andersen, who curled the ball into the top corner beyond a helpless Andre Onana.
United pushed before the break looking for the equaliser and it almost came just before half-time with Casemiro as he met Bruno Fernandes’ corner at the near post, but it flew just wide of Johnstone’s goal.
There were no United changes at the break but their work-rate noticeably increased as they dominated possession and chances started to come.
Johnstone was sharp to tip over from Fernandes as he looked to curl one from the edge of the box. United then had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Chris Kavanagh as it deflected off Joel Ward.
United introduced Alejandro Garnacho on the hour but it was then Palace who almost doubled their lead. Will Hughes’ goal-bound effort was pushed away by Andre Onana and the resulting corner saw Guehi flick Eze’s set-piece just wide of the post.
Garnacho almost created the equaliser as he broke into the box and fired a cross into the area, but it cannoned off two Palace defenders before going wide off the fortunate Mitchell.
A great chance fell for Hojlund with five minutes left as he turned in the six-yard box but the Dane missed the ball completely.
Both teams had claims for penalties waved away as United pressed for the equaliser, even throwing Harry Maguire up to support the attack. However, it was to no avail as Palace held on to claim a famous victory, having lost 3-0 at Old Trafford just days earlier.
GK: Andre Onana – 6/10 – Rarely tested and could do little for the Palace goal. Good save from Hughes.
RB: Diogo Dalot – 6/10 – Tried to get forward but was pegged back having to deal with Schlupp and Mitchell.
CB: Raphael Varane – 6/10 – Saw a lot of the ball as United pushed forward and pretty comfortable at the back.
CB: Victor Lindelof – 6/10 – Like his defensive partner, was tasked with bringing the ball out of defence and did pretty well.
LB: Sofyan Amrabat – 5/10 – Playing the inverted full-back role, amrabat got involved and looked good when he did. However, in defence he struggled with Ayew getting the better of him throughout.
CM: Casemiro – 5/10 – Pushed further up-field rather than just sitting but, while solid, didn’t offer too much.
CM: Mason Mount – 4/10 – Offered very little throughout, looking uncomfortable both in and out of possession. Missed a good chance with a header late on.
RW: Facundo Pellistri – 4/10 – Pretty anonymous throughout.
CAM: Bruno Fernandes (C) – 6/10 – Decent shift from the United captain as he was the one United player trying to get things going.
LW: Marcus Rashford – 5/10 – The odd dangerous run from the England man, but he needs to be better. Pretty poor.
ST: Rasmus Hojlund – 5/10 – Worked hard and put himself about the pitch but Guehi and Andersen enjoyed the battle and won it. Missed a huge chance late on.
SUB: Alejandro Garnacho (60′ for Pellistri) – N/A
SUB: Anthony Martial (76′ for Rashford) – N/A
SUB: Christian Eriksen (76′ for Mount) – N/A
SUB: Harry Maguire (87′ for Lindelof) – N/A
SUB: Donny van de Beek (87′ for Varane) – N/A
Subs not used: Altay Bayindir (GK), Jonny Evans, Hannibal
Erik ten Hag – 5/10 – Picked square pegs in round holes all over the pitch. Really bad display.
GK: Sam Johnstone – 7/10 – The former United man looked very good and made some excellent saves. His stop from Fernandes was impressive.
RB: Joel Ward – 7/10 – Did very well, coping with Rashford in the first half and forcing him to switch flanks.
CB: Marc Guehi – 8/10 – Absolute rock for Palace, winning every header he needed to alongside some crucial interceptions. Should have scored with a few good chances.
CB: Joachim Andersen – 9/10 – Brilliant finish for his goal and his defending was top draw throughout.
LB: Tyrick Mitchell – 6/10 – Had the toughest time of all of Palace’s defenders as United looked to get at him in the second half but he coped pretty well.
DM: Cheick Doucoure – 8/10 – So important in holding the Palace midfield together and was everywhere trying to break up almost every United attack.
DM: Will Hughes – 7/10 – Worked his socks off and made some crucial tackles. Almost claimed a goal.
RM: Jeffrey Schlupp – 6/10 – Worked hard for the team, with one chance to break clear which he wasted in the first half.
AM: Ebe Eze – 8/10 – Was outstanding throughout. A constant outlet for Palace and the focal point for every attack. Brilliant display.
LM: Jordan Ayew – 7/10 – Gave Amrabat a torrid time on United’s left. Good performance with his constant running.
ST: Jean-Philippe Mateta – 6/10 – Held up the ball well and made sure that Varane and Lindelof were kept on their toes.
SUB: Jairo Riedewald (76′ for Schlupp) – N/A
SUB: Chris Richards (87′ for Eze) – N/A
Subs not used: Remi Matthews, Nathaniel Clyne, Rob Holding, David Ozoh, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, Malcolm Ebiowei, Ademola Ola-Adebomi
Roy Hodgson – 8/10 – His team turned up for him and the system worked.
Player of the match: Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace)