Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League match of the season. Andros Townsend showed United’s defensive frailties inside seven minutes to open the scoring. A penalty (that never was) was awarded, saved by David De Gea, retaken with Wilfried Zaha scoring it, despite Jordan Ayew taking the first one. Donny van de Beek scored a debut consolation before Zaha struck again to hit United hard. Luton Town in the Carabao Cup next…
Palace started the match on the front foot which saw Andros Townsend looking confident against Luke Shaw on the left flank. United were looking fragile defensively from the start and it took just seven minutes for Palace to carve out an opening goal through Townsend after Jeffrey Schlupp got the better of Victor Lindelof with the ball being played to Townsend at the near post, beating Shaw to open the scoring. United should be doing so much better there. This is why a left-back is needed this summer.
United started to show improvement at the first half continued and managed to get shots on goal, and on target, although nothing came close to get them level. United won a free-kick with about five minutes of the half remaining with Bruno Fernandes taking the set-piece, getting no advantage for United. Jordan Ayew had a shot on goal in added time, forcing a save from David De Gea, giving Palace a corner. The set-piece was cleared by Lindelof before Wilfried Zaha had a shot on goal, which was wide.
Solskjaer made his first substitution during the half time break with Daniel James being replaced by Mason Greenwood. United were pushing to get back into the game but Palace were also pushing to double their lead in the early stages of the second half. United’s best chance came through Greenwood just before the hour mark but he was unable to find the equaliser for United. It was clear that United needed some more desire on the pitch as nothing seemed to be coming for United.
United made their second substitution of the match in the 67th minute with Donny van de Beek making his debut for the club with Paul Pogba, who was not quite up to speed, coming off. Palace won a penalty after a supposed half ball by Lindelof, which was harsh. Ayew took the penalty with De Gea making the save. Then with the ball being cleared up the pitch, Martin Atkinson ordered the penalty to be retaken. Zaha took the penalty, doubling Palace’s lead. VAR has become an even bigger farce this season than last.
United got themselves back into the match in the 80th minute with a debut goal from Donny van de Beek, thirteen minutes after the Dutchman was brought on to replace Pogba. United looked like they were going to aim to get themselves back into the game but Zaha stopped that with a second goal in the 85th minute, putting United two goals behind again. It is not a great start to the season. Solskjaer will be under lots of scrutiny from the media and the Mourinho supporters making the last two weeks of the transfer window even tougher.
Goals: Donny van de Beek 80′; Andros Townsend 7′, Wilfried Zaha 74′ penalty, 85′
Assists: Jeffrey Schlupp 7′
Manchester United: De Gea; Fosu-Mensah (Ighalo 81′), Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba (Van de Beek 67′), McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, James (Greenwood 46′); Martial
Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Wan-Bissaka; Fred
Bookings: Tim Fosu-Mensah 58′, Harry Maguire 64′; Joel Ward 55′
Written by John Walker