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Rashford leads Manchester United to win at Palace

Manchester United pull in front just before the break, as Marcus Rashford finishes off a flowing move to breach Crystal Palace's defense.

Marcus Rashford scored and set up Anthony Martial for another as Manchester United kept up its top four pace with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday.

United needed VAR to deny Jordan Ayew an equalizer, leaving it late to cement their three points and a spot below Leicester City on the PL table.

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United and Leicester both have 62 points to matches to play, and the Red Devils are three goals behind Leicester on goal differential. Chelsea sits third with 63 points, with only two of the three fit for the Champions League.

Palace has lost six-straight matches and sit 14th with 42 points. Patrick van Aanholt was stretchered off the field in a horrible incident late in the match, leading to 11 minutes to stoppage time.


Three things we learned

1. Red Devils very fortunate: Maybe it’s the schedule congestion, but the big boys have been getting big scares lately. United again tried to give away a win on Thursday, the back post open time and again. Palace has the ball in the back of the net once but VAR overruled Jordan Ayew’s goal for offside.

2. Rashford runs point: Rashford’s goal was his third in his last four league outings, and he has a goal contribution in five of six. The finish was cool and classy, stopping on a dime as three Palace players lunged to block his left-footed shot only to find out it was sailing off his right foot into the other side of the goal.

3. Scary injury for Palace: Longtime fullback Patrick van Aanholt was left needing oxygen and a stretcher in an incident that occurred as Martial scored his goal. The Dutchman was in clear distress and it affected his teammates to watch Van Aanholt carefully loaded onto the stretcher.

Man of the Match

Rashford was wonderful and an easy shout but spare thoughts for Bruno Fernandes, who continues to produce in the Premier League, and David De Gea keeping United in it with five saves on the day.

Crystal Palace - Manchester United recap

Palace looked good in the opening stages, requiring several United blocks in a sixth-minute sequence in the Red Devils’ third.

Harry Maguire couldn’t turn a corner kick on goal in the 39th minute of a pretty sleepy half in South London.

United got its goal in stoppage time, Rashford fooling three Palace players with a left-footed chop before slotting with his right.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Palace appeared to have found its equalizer in the 55th minute as Zaha cued up Jordan Ayew at the back post for a sliding finish, but the striker was offside by a toe.

David De Gea had to make a fine save on a low James McCarthy drive in the 60th, and James McArthur sent an invitation to the back post which was absent receiver soon after.

Bruno Fernandes cranked a would-be insurance goal off the post but made amends within minutes when he nutmegged Luka Milivojevic with a pass to Rashford, who set up Martial for his 17th of the season.