Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the final Premier League match of the season. Wilfried Zaha scored the only goal of the game in the 37th minute of the match. United deserved what they got and now it is time to rip up the squad.
It was a low tempo start to the match for both teams. United had perhaps the best chance in the early stages with Edinson Cavani in the box with the ball and he perhaps got too many touches before Bruno Fernandes’ effort was blocked.
Hannibal Mejbri was then ruled offside as the play was brought to an end. United had another chance in the 14th minute through Cavani, who saw his shot saved by Vicente Guaita. It would have been a good goal for the Uruguayan, who will be leaving the club at the end of this season.
In the 19th minute of the match, Joel Ward missed the target as he looked to open the scoring in this match with Conor Gallagher providing the cross. Alex Telles then had a shot blocked a minute later before Anthony Elanga missed the target seeking to find Fernandes on the goal line.
Wilfried Zaha had a great chance in the 26th minute of the match with United’s defence continuing their poor form in the final match of the season but David De Gea made the save. United’s defence then messed up two minutes later with Jeffrey Schlupp having an effort saved.
Palace opened the scoring in the 37th minute of the match with none other than Wilfried Zaha scoring against his former club with Palace fans singing “he’s too good for you” or words to that effect. It was a pretty poor goal to conceded at the end of the day.
Towards the end of the half Will Hughes and Hannibal Mejbri were both booked in separate challenges with the 19-year-old United player showing aggression to Zaha and walking away before being booked. This team started to look frustrated.
s it stood at half time with Palace beating United and West Ham United scoring the opening goal against Brighton and Hove Albion, United had been pushed down to seventh place and therefore earning a playoff round position in the UEFA Europa Conference League next season.
There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half. There needed to be a reaction from United from the off, with them seeking to find an equaliser. If Brighton scored, it would restore United into sixth but they needed to achieve their fate themselves, not by chance.
Brighton did equalise in the 50th minute against the Hammers, which saw United rise back to sixth and therefore in the UEFA Europa League but this was going to be a rollercoaster ride until all matches had been completed, unless United took the match by the scruff of the net.
Fernandes had a shot saved in the 48th minute of the match, which was a shame as United needed to gain something from this season, other than obscurity. In a decade post-Sir Alex Ferguson, nothing has been achieved – even with Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal’s trophy wins.
In the 61st minute, Hannibal had a shot on goal which was saved by Guaita. A minute later, the 19-year-old was replaced by Juan Mata, who could be making his final appearance for United in his career at the club.
Mata played a through ball in the 64th minute but Victor Lindelöf was caught offside. In the same minute, Zaha played a through ball but Odsonne Édouard was caught offside, just a minute after the Frenchman was booked. This was a poor performance from United – something to be ashamed of.
In the 75th minute of the match, Rangnick made his second substitution with Shola Shoretire replacing Fred, who did not have the greatest game for United – but was one of a few players seeking to create things, even if they did not go their way.
United just looked out of all hope at this stage of the match and with Brighton now beating West Ham, they had nothing else to do and no reason to end the season on a high. Some of these players do not deserve to be at the club next season. It has been a joke.
This team has gone from a very strong post-lockdown period in the 2019/20 season, to grinding out a second-placed finish last season to a complete destruction of everything this season. There is something drastically wrong – the main part being the owners of the club.
But the players are not gelling as a team, working as a team or developing as a team. It is a team of individuals. Six players will be leaving at the end of their contracts, unless there is something happening behind the scenes and many players deserve to be sold.
Victor Lindelöf was booked in the 84th minute of the match as the club continued to stutter to the finish line this season. There had been drama on the final day of the season with Manchester City 2-0 down to Aston Villa but Liverpool fluffing their lines. City then scored three winning the league.
It should be United vying with those teams for the Premier League title but for nine seasons in a row post-Ferguson, this team has failed to challenge for anything. Learned nothing and has fallen so much further than they think they have risen.
It was good to see Hannibal, Shola Shoretire and Alejandro Garnacho in this match, also letting Mata say goodbye to the supporters of the club – if this is in fact a goodbye for him. This season has been terrible for United and I for one am glad to see the back of it.
David De Gea: Made some good saves with the score still at 0-0 but Zara’s goal was something that should have been solved by the defence – that said, De Gea had no chance to stop it from going in. He has been one of the good guys this season – but it is one to forget. ★★★★★★
Diogo Dalot: Seemed to be out of his depth, so some coaching will need to be the key for him in the summer, if he is to remain at the club. Some experience ahead of him at right-back would be good too. Zaha had a field day against him. Replaced by Garnacho. ★★★★
Victor Lindelöf: Terrible at Brighton, terrible today. He has not bettered himself and should be a squad player, not a starter. His defensive ability and his reading of the game is not good enough. You can see why this defence is weak. ★★★★
Harry Maguire: No authority. The captain needs to have authority, belief and a way of uniting this team. Maguire does nothing. He was lucky to be on the left side of the pitch with Palace attacking the right side more often. ★★★★★
Alex Telles: Seemed to care and was vocal at times. However, he was ineffective for the majority of the match. He has looked good at times but it has not worked at United for him. If an offer comes in for him, United should accept it and move on. ★★★★★
Scott McTominay: Poor once again. There seems to be little improvement at the club since he emerged under Mourinho. Coaching could be an issue, plus working with better players than he has but it is a big if. Hughes and Schlupp were both better. ★★★★
Fred: Seemed to care and did seem to be seeking to create – not that it paid off. He showed aggression and was proactive at times. It was not working for United and there was nobody else to bring on to change the game. Replaced by Shoretire. ★★★★★
Anthony Elanga: Failed with a good chance but seemed to struggle against Mitchell at times. Yelled at by Fernandes for not playing the ball to him with four Palace players in-between them. It has been a positive season in terms of experience for him. ★★★★★
Bruno Fernandes: Has regressed this season. Yes, he’s scored 10 goals and got 14 assists but his mistakes continued to happen, just like the Watford match. Had a few chances in front of goal but wasted them. Shows frustration too often, pointing the finger but not at himself. ★★★★★
Hannibal Mejbri: Forced two errors in the opening ten minutes with his pressing. He did not have much support of the same intensity. Booked for the challenge with Zaha but also drew a save, which was a good effort on goal. He is going to be a decent player. ★★★★★★
Edinson Cavani: Got to say goodbye but did not improve his figures at the club. His second season at United failed. Put himself about a bit, didn’t pounce on one chance but took another, failing to beat the opposition. Good on paper but in reality, it’s good he’s now gone. ★★★★★
Juan Mata: Replaced Hannibal 62′. Came on in what is expected to be his final appearance at United. Did not show himself up. I’d like keep him as a coach at the club, within the academy, but I get the feeling he wants to keep playing. Held his head high, unlike some. ★★★★★
Shola Shoretire: Replaced Fred 75′. Got his first appearance this season. Did not disgrace himself but this was just a run out with United losing but still (luckily) in the UEFA Europa League. Not that it is an achievement. He could benefit from that. ★★★★★
Alejandro Garnacho: Replaced Dalot 79′. Made a late cameo but there was nothing that could have been done. It is good that he got a second appearance after a good season for him. He is a player tat has achieved glory with the FA Youth Cup. ★★★★★
Goals: Wilfried Zaha 37′
Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot (Garnacho 79′), Lindelöf, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred (Shoretire 75′); Elanga, Fernandes, Hannibal (Mata 62′); Cavani
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Bailly, Jones, Varane, Fernández; Savage
Bookings: Will Hughes 43′, Odsonne Édouard 63′; Hannibal Mejbri 44′, Diogo Dalot 59′, Victor Lindelöf 84′, Bruno Fernandes 90+2′
Written by John Walker