Ratings: Matic scored a stunner, Smalling better going forward then defending, Lukaku scored 24th goal…


Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Monday evening, Palace took the lead through Andros Townsend in the 11th minute, with Patrick van Aanholt doubling that lead in the 48th minute. United scored their first goal in the 55th minute through Chris Smalling, finding the equaliser through Romelu Lukaku in the 76th minute with Nemanja Matic scoring the winner deep in stoppage time with a stunning volley from 30-yards out.

Key Moments:

11′ Andros Townsend scored the opening goal of the match after being passed the ball inside the box by Christian Benteke and sending his shot on target. Victor Lindelof got the deflection though, which sent the ball past David De Gea. Townsend would have probably scored with his shot anyway.

48′ Crystal Palace went 2-0 up after Patrick van Aanholt scored after being played onside by Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling turning his back to the player and him running past him, unchallenged and firing past David De Gea. It was another poor defensive performance for Manchester United.

55′ Chris Smalling scores a header to get a goal back for Manchester United after Antonio Valencia put a sublime ball into the box for the defender to hit the back of the net. 2-1 to Palace still.

76′ Romelu Lukaku scored the equaliser for Manchester United after Alexis Sanchez fired his shot from outside the box, the ball deflecting and hitting the crossbar. Lukaku reacted quickly by firing his shot low into the back of the net.

90+1′ Just at the time when a draw seemed to be the result Nemanja Matic pulls one out of the bag from 30-yards out. Hitting the ball sweetly from the volley and the ball curling slightly passed Wayne Hennessey, who made the dive to save the shot. United had won the match 3-2, coming back from 2-0 down. Roy Hodgson must be gutted.

Man of the Match: Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder is my Man of the Match in the 3-2 victory over Palace. His stunning 30-yard volleyed strike past Wayne Hennessey in the dying seconds of the match will be something to remember, especially being his first goal for United. Jose Mourinho may not be happy with the all-round performance of his team, but a win is a win, no matter how it comes.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spaniard as unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet against Chelsea. De Gea was beaten at the near post by Willian's strike in the 32nd minute of the game. Made a great save to deny Morata in the opening few minutes though.


25 Antonio Valencia

It was not the best defensive display for the Ecuadorian, not that it was expected to be. Alonso pushed Valencia back at times. Booked for a poor challenge too.


2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish defender did not have the best of games but the result will mask that. He's not played this regularly before and needs time to get into the game. Hazard drew Lindelof and two of his teammates out of their positions for the opening goal, scored by Willian.


Chris Smalling

The England defender did well against Chelsea. Earned his plaudits. Put in a great tackle to stop Pedro after United had taken the lead. Was fouled by Morata from behind when he was going forward.


18 Ashley Young

The opening goal started on his flank. Defensively, he's not the left-back that should be playing. Luke Shaw needs to earn the trust of the manager with his performances. However, Young did recover after the opening goal and played a good game at times.


39 Scott McTominay

The 20-year-old was tasked with marking Hazard, something he did well for large spells of the game. He passed the ball to Lukaku which turned into the winner scored by Lingard. Amazing when managers trust Academy graduates.


31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder played well against his former side. Matic put in some hard tackles and distributed the ball effectively.


6 Paul Pogba

Pogba was back in the starting XI agsinst Chelsea. As Souness would put it, it was only due to injury of other players. How bitter. Pogba did not have the best of games, lost the ball cheaply and was beaten in the air. Together though, the team was effective.


Alexis Sanchez

Played well at times but made the mistake of not scoring when a great chance fell at his feet. Was determined through his participation in the game though.


Romelu Lukaku

Man of the Match for me. His equaliser was a sweet strike against his former club. Now he's scored against a side in the top eight this season. The Belgian was unplayable at times.


9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman set up the equaliser for Lukaku. Played a good game at times. Was replaced by Lingard, the scorer of the winner, which made a baffling substitution look justified.



14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Martial 64'. Scored the winner in the game. He's hated by many and that is not something I understand. Always does what he needs to do. Important victory today.


3 Eric Bailly

Replaced Sanchez 81'. Did what he needed to do but had little involvement in the game. Great to see him being edged in slowly to prevent a further injury.


Goals: Chris Smalling 55′, Romelu Lukaku 76′, Nemanja Matic 90+1′

Assists: Antonio Valencia 55′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Mata 67′), Lindelof, Smalling, Young (Shaw 67′); McTominay (Rashford 46′), Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Lukaku, Lingard

Substitutes Not Used: J. Pereira; Bailly, Darmian; Carrick

Bookings: Scott McTominay 42′, Ashley Young 58′, Nemanja Matic 90+2′

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copyright: JW

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