CRYSTAL PALACE 2-MANCHESTER UNITED 3: REDS IN STUNNING COMBACK WIN.
Watching those Crystal palace players sink to thier knees at the blast of the Final whistle was satisfying for me as a REDS man. It took me back to those days where we used to pull out results like this under fergie for fun.
The home team slumped to the ground as if they had lost a cup final. A bit of pity i felt but not much.
For more than an hour of Monday night’s match, they led and had risen to mid-table, a creditable, safe 13th in the league. Now they were down among the dead men again, returned to the relegation zone, a point adrift of 17th-placed Southampton.
Nemanja Matic’s scorching half-volley from the edge of the area had ripped away even the lonely point they had hoped to salvage, and in stoppage time, too.
Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Hennessey ; Wan Bissaka , Kelly , Tomkins , Van Aanholt ; Townsend , Milivojevic , McArthur , Schlupp (Riedewald 80); Benteke , Sorloth
Subs not used: Lee, Cavalieri, Souare, Delaney, Rakip, Jach
Goalscorers: Townsend , van Aanholt
Manchester United (4-3-2-1): de Gea ; Valencia (Shaw 67), Smalling , Lindelof , Young (Mata 67); McTominay (Rashford 46, 6.5), Matic , Pogba ; Lingard , Sanchez ; Lukaku
Subs not used: Bailly, Carrick, Darmian, Joel Pereira
Goalscorers: Smalling 55, Lukaku 76, Matic 90+
Two-nil down, 3-2 up. Us Man U fans had forgotten nights like this existed, it has been so long. Like i said earlier, we used to be famous for it. Not even a 3-0 deficit at Tottenham could contain them.
Lately we have become infamous for meek surrenders or tepid draws. They have failed to win their last 28 league games if chasing a half-time reverse. So this was a throwback to the days of Sir Alex Ferguson when United, as one commentator had it, always scored late late goals
It may not make much difference this season, for the title is surely gone, but a year from now this may be regarded as a watershed victory under Jose Mourinho.
He looked furious with the second Crystal Palace goal after 48 minutes, his opponents thinking quicker than his slumbering players, taking a swift free-kick and racing away unchallenged. By the end, he was all smiles.
He got the second-half response his angry look demanded, although a less frightened team than Palace may have been better at shutting him out. From the moment United began chasing the game in earnest, Palace’s defence appeared an accident waiting to happen.The threat of relegation does that to a team. Having lost late against Tottenham, the fear of a repeat was plain. It was January 13 when Palace last won, and this will do nothing to repair their confidence.
Matic scores the winner
As for Romelu Lukaku, nobody was complaining about him scoring against the little teams on Monday night, except perhaps Roy Hodgson. Even without the match-winning third, Lukaku’s 76th-minute equaliser would have spared United the embarrassment of recording their poorest league sequence away from home since January 1996.
Having lost at Spurs and Newcastle, a third straight league defeat would have represented a 22-year low; instead it was Palace who recorded an unenviable entry in the annals.
Lost 15, drawn three — their sequence of 18 games without a win against United is the longest of its kind in the Premier League. They must have thought the hoodoo was going to be brokenlast night but no..
Instead heartbreak, but not of the unfortunate kind. The Matic shot, his first goal for United, was a thunderbolt, but what went before that was sloppy from Palace, two goals that illustrated why they are in such a parlous position, undoing tremendous hard work and long spells of admirable resilience with lapses of concentration.
Sanchez in action for UNITED.
A Chris Smalling header got United back in the game, taking full advantage of a sleepy James Tomkins, who stayed deep and played him and Paul Pogba onside. Antonio Valencia crossed and Smalling got there first, steering the gentlest header past Wayne Hennessey.
Time seemed to stand still for the equaliser, too, after an Alexis Sanchez shot had ricocheted up off Tomkins. It fell to Lukaku, who seemed to have an age to turn and beat Hennessey with a low shot.
Sluggishness is most certainly not a fault of United goalkeeper David de Gea, however, and moments later he pulled off one of the saves of the season to keep out a Christian Benteke header.
Had that gone in, who knows if United would have had the fight to go again, or where Palace would be now. Who knows, indeed, where United would be at all without the brilliant De Gea. He changes games the way the best strikers do but he is just a goal keeper.
Sanchez and Pogba need to pick up their form though. They are trying but they have to be conscious that its not about them only. They are team members and must sync with the play and not take uncalculated risks. The early passing, for instance, from players of obvious quality like them was poor. Pogba struggled with his radar throughout the first half and Sanchez was not far behind him. At one point the Chilean had his head in his hands having over-hit a through-ball so long it skipped into the crowd, fielded by a man in a red jacket. But im confident they will pick up.