Report: Pogba and Zlatan seal victory against Palace

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic becoming that stars of the match, each scoring a goal and assisting for one another. Juan Mata found the back of the net too, but it was ruled out for offside. Marcos Rojo will be in hot water with the manager after a poor tackle could have cost the club, his second in the last three matches. United took all three points back to Old Trafford though, keeping their run going. Nine matches unbeaten in all competitions.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes for the visit to Crystal Palace with Eric Bailly playing as a right-back, Daley Blind playing as the left-back, Michael Carrick back in the centre of midfield and both Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney both starting either side of Paul Pogba, who plays just behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ander Herrera and David De Gea also started the match. United’s team lacked some pace, which could be a problem against Palace, but with Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, and Marcus Rashford all on the bench, pace is something which can be added, should it be needed, and it might. United have been in some good form for a while now, perhaps that will prevail tonight.

United started the match brightly, but it could have been the end of the evening for Bailly, who seemed to injure his knee, spending some time on the sidelines and coming back into the match. United had been getting forward at times, seeking that opening goal of the evening. In the 13th minute of the match, Matteo Darmian, who was warming up, was called back to the bench, seemingly suggesting that Bailly was fit enough to continue. Pogba had a speculative effort on goal, which did not trouble the Palace keeper. United, despite trying to advance and find an opening goal, were being thwarted by the home side.

Bailly was challenged by Lee, who appeared to drive his studs, albeit accidentally into his knee, which saw him on the ground in pain once again, but he was back up and battling moments later, Michael Carrick then suffered a challenge from Benteke, who seemingly kicked the sole of his boot, but he was able to continue. United were again dominating in possession, only a matter of time before United turned the screw and went for all three points this evening. Marcos Rojo gave Palace a free-kick just outside of the United area in the 34th minute of the match, which amounted to nothing with Pogba heading it out of danger.

In the 37th minute of the match, United were on the attack through Mata, who passed the ball out from the flank and it was then set up for an on-rushing Rooney to tee up a shot, which was thwarted by Hennessey. Palace immediately went on the attack with Zaha on the advance and Rojo then took him out. The Argentinian was lucky to only be shown a yellow card, for the second time in a week after he appeared to take Zaha out with a two-footed challenge. Luckily for United, the free-kick did not trouble them. United took the lead in the dying seconds of the first half through Paul Pogba, who was set up by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 1-0 to United.

The second half started with no changes for United with Bailly seemingly fine to continue after the break. Palace, however, made a change with Joe Ledley replacing Mathieu Flamini. In the 51st minute of the match, Bailly was once again down and looked likely to not continue the match with Matteo Darmian replacing him. For ten minutes after the United substitution, United were in control of the game, challenging Palace in their own area for much of the time. Just after the hour mark of the match, Palace had a chance on goal with David De Gea making a great save to thwart the home side.

Palace equalised in the 67th minute of the match through McArthur with Rojo failing to pick up his man in the box before the goal. United now needed to get back into the match, scoring a second goal. The Palace fans, who had been very much silent throughout the match, despite needing a megaphone in the stands, erupted when their team was back in it. United then went straight on the attack from the kick-off with Rooney going for goal and Hennessey saving his side from going 2-1 down. United took the lead minutes later through Juan Mata, but the goal was disallowed for being offside, with the reply looking much different.

Once again, poor refereeing seems to have changed the game. Both United and Palace had made from poor decisions by the referee and linesman, which will never change as if anyone associated with either team will be charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute. Mourinho made his second change with Jesse Lingard replacing Mata. United, still on the attack were looking to take the lead again, hoping to return to Manchester with all three points in the bag. On the 80th minute, Marcus Rashford replaced Rooney, who still could not find that goal to match the record set by Sir Bobby Charlton.

All was not going well for United, but some great play by Paul Pogba helped United get back in front, setting up for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to find the back of the net. United were 2-1 up and sure to take all three points back to Manchester, capitalising on Arsenal, who so far, were the only team to drop points in these midweek matches. Pogba was named the Man of the Match by BT Sport and deservedly so, being that he has been the player pulling the strings for attacking play this evening. United were home and dry, all three points going back to Manchester, with United now looking ahead to Saturday’s match against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. Come on UNITED!

Goals: Paul Pogba 45+2′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 88′

Assists: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 45+2′, Paul Pogba 88′

Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly (Darmian 52′), Jones, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Herrera; Mata (Lingard 71′), Pogba, Rooney (Rashford 80′); Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Young, Fellaini, Schweinsteiger

Bookings: Marcos Rojo 38′, Paul Pogba 70′, Marcus Rashford 84′

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