Zaha, Palace sink sloppy Man United
Manchester United - Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha scored twice and Crystal Palace earned a deserving 3-1 win over sloppy, disinterested Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Andros Townsend opened the scoring before Zaha’s penalty made it 2-0. Substitute debutant Donny van de Beek took one back for 0-1 United before ex-Red Devils winger Zaha iced the three points.
[ MORE: Van de Beek reacts ]
The win was Palace’s second-straight at Old Trafford after the South London side went 30 years between wins at the Theater of Dreams. Patrick van Aanholt keyed a Palace upset of the Red Devils in August 2019.
Palace moves to 2-0 and sits atop the PL table for now.
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3 things we learned from Manchester United - Crystal Palace
1. United backs slumber continues: United was caught off guard on the opening goal and its midfield and center backs made a number of errors in possession that allowed Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew chances to make the game 2-0. The Lindelof handball to give Palace its two penalty bids was a tough break, but Zaha’s second came off Lindelof’s mishit poke and Harry Maguire being left between two minds.
2 Van de Beek says hello, Ole scratches head: The former Ajax star came off the bench for Pogba and reacted quickly to side-foot a loose ball across goal and inside the side netting, giving United a little bit of hope on a day it was without vigor from many of its players (McTominay had his moments but was mostly sloppy).
Questions will again be asked of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his expensive sub got on the score sheet, but this was more about off days from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Pogba. Really poor from three stars around the always-lively Bruno Fernandes, who was credited with five key passes but got absolutely nothing from the aforementioned three and fellow starter Daniel James.
3. Zaha waves to the transfer market: Too expensive for the top sides he’d like to play for and clearly a step above the rest of Palace’s players, Zaha was stroked home his penalty and was too clinical for Lindelof on his second goal. Roy Hodgson will be hoping suitors continue to be put off by the price tag because “Wilf” is the key to Palace’s success (Well, perhaps after Hodgson, who is getting so much out of these Eagles).
Man of the Match
You can’t get past Zaha, but Palace’s midfield was so good on the day. James McArthur is already building off a career year and both Jeff Schlupp and Townsend were busy out wide. Palace was simply better in form and execution for another win at Old Trafford.
Manchester United - Crystal Palace recap
Palace was all over United to start and it was no more than they deserved when Townsend snapped Jeff Schlupp’s cross past David De Gea when Luke Shaw lost sight of the English winger.
United found some footing after 15 minutes and Paul Pogba forced Vicente Guaita into a stooping save. And Scott McTominay’s rip was slightly deflected by Cheikhou Kouyate to go just wide for a 22nd-minute corner.
Palace was otherwise largely unthreatened in the half despite a lack of possession, aside from a penalty shout of marginal interest.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought on Mason Greenwood for an ineffective Daniel James.
Jordan Ayew helped turnover McTominay early in the first half and took a bounding low shot that De Gea handled in the 49th.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah nearly turned the screw on his former loan side when he spotted Greenwood at the back post at the hour mark but the latter couldn’t turn his header on goal.
Zaha was offside before scoring for the second week in-a-row, the AR’s flag raised and video not required after another United error at the back.
Donny van de Beek entered for a United debut in the 67th minute, an ineffective Paul Pogba making way for the Ajax product.
A corner kick soon came to United and McTominay’s flicked header to the back post came too quick for Lindelof to wrap his body around the ball. The chance leapt over the cross bar.
VAR had a look at an in-tight penalty shout when a Palace shot turned off Lindelof’s arm and into the arms of De Gea.
It was given and De Gea quickly got low to stymy Ayew’s poor effort. But VAR saw De Gea’s back foot raised above the line and a retake awarded to Palace. Zaha nailed it.
Van de Beek pulled one back for United with quick thinking off a bungled clearance, but Zaha darted past Lindelof to shoot between the defender and Harry Maguire for 3-1.