Manchester United suffered a second successive defeat at home in the Premier League as Joachim Andersen’s superb strike gave Crystal Palace an impressive victory at Old Trafford.
The two teams were meeting for the second time in five days, with Erik ten Hag’s side comfortably winning 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
But Palace rested a number of first-team players for that game and were a different proposition on Saturday as they produced the perfect away performance.
After Tyrick Mitchell cleared Rasmus Hojlund’s effort off the line, Palace took the lead when Andersen superbly drove a first-time effort into the top corner after a free-kick.
Manchester United piled on the pressure after that, but struggled to find a way through the Palace defence. When they did they found goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in superb form.
Johnstone made two crucial saves in the second half to preserve Palace’s lead, first pushing over Bruno Fernandes’ dipping effort before keeping out Hojlund’s bullet header.
The Palace goal continued to live a charmed life but Manchester United could not find a way through as the visitors secured a win that moved them above their opponents to ninth, with the hosts dropping to 10th.
It is now four defeats in seven Premier League games for Ten Hag’s side, who have had their worst start to a league season after seven games in 34 years.
A frustrating afternoon for United
After starting September with three successive defeats, Manchester United were looking to end the month on a high and a victory over Palace would have been their third in a row and got their season up and running.
Having breezed to victory against Roy Hodgson’s men on Tuesday, home fans will have been forgiven for expecting more of the same against the Eagles.
Initially it looked like that would be the case as they made a dominant start, but Mitchell’s goalline clearance proved something of a turning point.
After that, Palace started to look more of a threat on the counter, while Manchester United found themselves increasingly frustrated as they struggled to break their opponents down.
There were boos at full time from the home fans, who expressed their frustration at the officials after a couple of penalty calls were waved away.
Ultimately the hosts had plenty of chances to snatch a draw, but a mixture of poor finishing and excellent defending meant it would not be their day.
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