Sunday, February 5, 2023

Crystal Palace 1-1 Manchester United: Main Talking Points As The Red Devils Suffer Late Heartbreak At Selhurst Park

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Jan 2023

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Despite coming within seconds of claiming eight consecutive post-World Cup victories on Wednesday night, Manchester United suffered last-gasp heartbreak at Selhurst Park.

While Bruno Fernandes might have opened the scoring for Erik ten Hag’s side two minutes before the break, it was Michael Olise’s spectacular injury-time free-kick that drew a line under United’s remarkable winning run.

Missing out on the chance to at least briefly leapfrog their local rivals and climb to second in the Premier League table, there is no doubt that the English heavyweights will feel like they missed out on a golden chance.

Nevertheless, still yet to taste a domestic defeat since returning from the festive interval, ten Hag’s men will be looking to prove that their late stutter in south London was nothing more than a minor blip.

However, while Crystal Palace might have drawn a line under their three-match winless run against top-flight opposition here, the Eagles are seeking some post-World Cup stability.

On a night when United failed to drag themselves over the finish line, we have taken a look at the main talking points following Wednesday’s meeting at Selhurst Park.

United fumble at this finish line

Enjoying what has been a remarkable purple patch since returning from the World Cup break, United made the trip to Selhurst Park on Wednesday night looking to lay down another marker.

However, while shock new arrival Wout Weghorst might have made a full debut for the former Premier League champions here, ten Hag will be disappointed to have missed out on a golden chance.

Mounting that stunning comeback against the defending champions as they snatched Manchester bragging rights thanks to a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford last weekend, United will now have to prove this was nothing more than a minor blip.

With some in their camp starting to believe that a famous title charge could be on the cards during the second-half of the season, the ex-Ajax boss now faces a mouthwatering showdown in a few days time.

Making the trip to a high-flying Arsenal on Sunday afternoon sat eight points adrift of the league leaders, United don’t have long to feel sorry for themselves following Wednesday’s last-gasp heartbreak.

Palace still seeking stability

While Crystal Palace might have largely impressed prior to the World Cup break, it is fair to say that Patrick Vieira’s men have failed to find much fluidity since returning to action last month.

Opening 2023 with a nightmare display at Selhurst Park with a 4-0 drumming at the hands of Tottenham, the one-time Arsenal skipper will be hoping to use Olise’s spectacular late equaliser as a platform to build on.

Holding an eight-point buffer over the drop zone and almost finding themselves sat in Premier League limbo, the Eagles have still recorded just a single victory from their last eight appearances across all competitions.

With that run stemming all the way back to a 2-1 win away at West Ham on November 6th, Vieira will know that his side face a tough run over the next fortnight.

Ahead of a quick turnaround before they make the trip to Old Trafford on February 4th, Palace will be next seen on Saturday evening when they welcome Champions League dreamers Newcastle to south London.

Casemiro agony for United

While ten Hag and United might be relishing a real test in north London this weekend, the former Ajax boss will have a real midfield headache on his hands.

Playing a vital role in United’s resurge on either side of the World Cup break, Casemiro has only continued to gain a string of admirers from across the Premier League since arriving last summer.

Offering ten Hag’s side some real steel and experience in the center of the park, the former Real Madrid superstar has also cemented his spot as a fan favourite around Old Trafford.

However, heading into Wednesday’s showdown at Selhurst Park walking a real tightrope and just one more booking away from picking up a one-match suspension, United fans would have been devastated to see the 30-year-old produce a reckless lunge on Wilfried Zaha in the final minutes.

Handed what could turn out to be a crucial yellow card by referee Rob Jones, United will now travel to their high-flying rivals without Casemiro in their party – a dilemma that will certainly test ten Hag’s tactics this weekend.

Match Report

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Richards, Guehi, Mitchell, Doucoure, Hughes, Olise, Edouard, Zaha, Mateta

Subs: Milivojevic, Ayew, Eze, Schlupp

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Eriksen, Casemiro, Rashford, Fernandes, Antony, Weghorst

Subs: Garnacho, McTominay, Fred

Goals: Crystal Palace: Olise (90+1′) – Manchester United: Fernandes (43′)

Yellow Cards: Crystal Palace: Hughes – Manchester United: Casemiro, Martinez

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Rob Jones

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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