Manchester United travelled to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace in a crucial midweek clash in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were without eight of their first team players. He heavily relied upon veteran players such as Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to excel at their natural roles.
Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard were all out of the clash with injuries sustained against Liverpool. Nemanja Matic and Anthony Martial were also unavailable, so youngsters Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes were drafted into the first team ahead of the Selhurst Park clash.
Romelu Lukaku Breaks His Goal Drought
The match started on a tight note with both teams looking for an opportunity to sting the other. The Red Devils had the first clear chance off the game as Luke Shaw put a beautiful corner right into the feet of Romelu Lukaku who only had to tap it in. Instead, the Belgian powered the shot over the bar.
Andros Townsend, on the other hand, had a good opportunity of his own to take the lead for the home side. James McArthur shoved past Scott McTominay to put a beautiful ball inside the box. Townsend connected with a powerful boot but it sailed over the bar.
It was the visitors that eventually broke to deadlock – Shaw made a dazzling run into the box and passed it to Lukaku who converted to end his scoring drought.
Lukaku Adds One More
The second half started at a high pace, with United dominating the early stages. The high-press proved fruitful as Lukaku scored his as well as United’s second goal. Good movement from Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof from a corner allowed Lukaku to add the second. Soon after, though, Palace tightened play and suddenly got a goal back. United switched off defensively, with Shaw losing track of Joel Ward, who scored from Jeff Schulpp’s cross.
A Ray of Hope
Palace were back in the game after the goal. Waves of crosses and shots flew into the box from Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi. Roy Hodgson’s men suddenly had the hope that they could edge back into the game.
Hodgson subbed on Max Meyer to bolster attacking options, but the Red Devils had the last laugh. Six minutes from the end, Young smashed a shot underneath Vicente Guaita. The defender received the ball on the left-hand side of the box and powered a low shot into the net to put the result beyond doubt.