Match Report: Crystal Palace V Manchester United
24 Feb, 2014 6:34 PM GMT
It was a gloomy evening at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace entertained Manchester United. It started off as a slow game but soon picked up as United were attacking in waves.
The first half was an entertainment vacuum. Palace were organised in defence, had resilience and were disciplined. They stuck to counter-attacks and rarely troubled United. Easy pickings for United at the back. United created a few chances at the other end but wasted them.
The Eagles went closes when Jonathan Parr’s shot was deflected to the near post causing a smart stop from David De Gea.
The Reds grew stronger as the half went on, but demonstrably lacked confidence in the final third. Rooney had a shot from distance that was comfortable for Julian Speroni, and dragged an injury-time free-kick wide of the goal. He also saw a cross-cum-shot cleared off the line by Damien Delaney.
Marouane Fellaini had arguably United’s best chance of the half as Van Persie’s pullback came to the Belgian international but his shot from 15 yards out went disconcertingly wide.
The second half was sprang into action by Marouane Chamakh as he fouled Patrice Evra on the hour, bursting forward to get on the end of Adnan Januzaj’s reverse pass inside: United had a penalty. Robin Van Persie stepped up assuredly and as he does 9 times out of 10, he slotted it home.
Seven minutes later, Rooney hit a volley in the top corner from Evra’s cross. A tricky finish tactically but to celebrate his new deal with the Reds he gave the travelling United fans a show of masterclass.
Is this enough to change United’s season? The transformation in spirit when Rooney hit the second goal was clear to all, and it might be this victory than propels United on to a good run of form. It could just be what they need.
Man of the Match:
Patrice Evra: Under less pressure to defend than he has been recently, Evra played to his attacking strengths and was instrumental in both goals, winning the penalty for Van Persie and crossing for Rooney.
Crystal Palace: Speroni 6, Ward 5, Dann 6, Delaney 6, Parr 6, Puncheon 6, Jedinak 5, Ledley 5, Ince 6, Chamakh 6, Murray 7. Subs: Bolasie 6, Gayle 5, Jerome 6.
Manchester United: De Gea 7, Smalling 6, Vidic 6, Ferdinand 6, Evra 8, Carrick 6, Fellaini 6, Mata 7, Rooney 8, Januzaj 6, Van Persie 7. Subs: Valencia 6, Fletcher 6, Giggs 6.