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Crystal Palace humiliate Manchester United at Old Trafford, once again

Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace
Picture Source: Twitter

Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace’s manager and erstwhile manager of the England National Football Team, has added another feather to his hat. Crystal Palace beat Manchester United in their opening game at Old Trafford with a convincing score-line (3-1). This is a big achievement for Palace considering that they weren’t even able to finish in the top 10 last season.

However, it will be a huge cause of worry for Manchester United. Already facing fire from the fans for an insufficient number of new signings, United has proven yet again that they need the right kind of transfers if they wish to stay competitive in the Premier League. This opening game was more of a wake-up call for United’s top management. Let us analyse the game.

United had a pretty good ball possession throughout the game and first half was no different. However, ball possession is no good if it doesn’t create the desired effect. Dan James and Fosu Mensah were terrible in the first half. Dan James simply doesn’t seem to fit well in the Premier League and pretty much runs out of ideas when things do not go his way. Crystal Palace had few opportunities but they ensured that they convert those. Schlupp gave a magnificent pass and it was an easy opportunity for Andros Townsend. He sent it past De Gea to give Crystal Palace a lead in the 8th minute of the match.

Also Read: Goals, Stories and Slips – 3 Most Memorable Fixtures – Chelsea Vs Liverpool

United had a terrible right flank combination. Poor displays by the centre-backs, which has been a pertinent problem, added to the woes. After the goal, nothing significant happened throughout the first half. There were one or two unsuccessful attempts by United, but that was pretty much it. Poor performance led to Dan James being substituted by Greenwood at the half time.

Zaha’s dagger to his former club in the second half

The second half saw United trying to get the equaliser through pressing gameplay. Much of the game was being played in Palace’s half. However, Palace had started parking the bus and there weren’t many openings for United. Fosu-Mensah and Maguire made some nasty fouls and picked up a yellow card each. Ward from Place was also penalised with a yellow.

Soon after that, Pogba was substituted by the promising Dutch youngster, Donny Van De Beek, United’s lone signing so far. United were on the attack but Crystal Palace soon got a chance to counter and Ayew had a go at the goal. It caught Lindelof’s hand and the VAR issued a penalty against Lindelof.

There was still drama in store. Ayew took the penalty, but De Gea saved it only to be retaken, as De Gea had violated the goal line norms. Wilfried Zaha retook the penalty and sent it past De Gea to extend Palace’s lead. Soon after, the promising Dutch youngster, Van De Beek scored United’s first and only goal for the match. Van De Beek’s goal was the only silver lining to an otherwise dismal performance by United.

Batshuayi, Palace’s new signing was brought in the game for Ayew. United also made a substitution by bringing in Ighalo in place of the underperforming Fosu-Mensah. Soon after, that Palace got a break again when Lindelof made another terrible mistake in the penalty area. Lindelof lost the ball and couldn’t recover it from the skilful Zaha. Zaha, who always seems to be playing against United with some kind of personal vengeance, scored Palace’s third and final goal putting the final nail in the coffin.

United got a couple of corners after that, but were unable to find the back of the net. The match ended after 6 minutes of added time, thus putting an end to United’s ordeal. All-in-all, it was a great start to the campaign for Crystal Palace. They have pretty much in store and their spirits will also be high after this convincing win against a Premier League giant. United have a lot to contemplate. They need good centre backs. Serious work needs to be put in the defence department.  The absence of Wan Bissaka was also felt. They need to get themselves together as early as possible to avoid a terrible season.

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