Manchester United managed to fight back and win important three points in a rollercoaster of a match at Selhurst Park, after coming from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 in the final Premier League match of the 29th round. It was not a good performance from United for most of the match, but the sheer quality of the players and their desire to bounce back managed to earn the Devils three points which put them back into second place in the standings.
It was Chris Smalling that started the comeback with a goal just minutes after Palace doubled their lead. Romelu Lukaku equalized to give United fans hope, before Nemanja Matic scored his first Manchester United goal in the stoppage time to secure the win.
Manchester United Keep Struggling In More Hostile Grounds
Yet, this match was another indicator of how much United can struggle away from home in grounds that are more hostile than most Premier League stadiums. Jose Mourinho’s team did not start well, looking a bit disoriented and Andros Townsend took advantage of that to score after just 11 minutes.
This season, United already lost in Newcastle and Huddersfield and also drew away at Stoke and Leicester. This time they managed to snatch a victory late on, but it looks like United players are not really enjoying these environments. It might be just a coincidence, but the team’s performance in the first hour was very poor.
Alexis Sanchez Too Wasteful In The First Half
This was not a great match from Alexis Sanchez, especially in the first half. The Chilean looked very poor, unable to make any difference in United’s sluggish attack. It would be unfair to blame only him for a weak performance for the biggest part of the match, but he was the one that stood out.
Sanchez is obviously still far from his best and is still adjusting to things in Manchester, but so often he was the one losing the ball. In the end, he lost possession on eight occasions, though he did manage to hit the post. Manchester United fans will expect more from him.
Great Fighting Spirit
There is one thing no one could deny this Manchester United on a night like this one. Their fighting spirit. There it was, and in abundance, after United went 2-0 down after Patrick van Aanholt scored early into the second half. On some previous occasions, trailing 2-0 after 48 minutes would not necessarily mean such a performance afterwards.
It was far from pretty, but the team did what was expected of them. They did not surrender and clawed their way back into the game. Matic’s beautiful goal in 91st minute was the reward for that.
Crystal Palace Show They Could Stay Up
Roy Hodgson’s team was in the end unlucky to stay without anything from this match. Crystal Palace were brave, trying to win valuable points in their relegation battle. Two goals almost meant they were cruising towards victory, but after this match they will feel they should have got something out of it.
However, even if they did not, Hodgson and Palace now certainly know there is enough quality in this team to stay up. They sit in 17th with 27 points, but only three points away from 13th. It will be a big battle at the bottom of the league.