This was the second of three big games this week for Man United.
It was 13th placed Crystal Palace playing in red and blue against 2nd placed Manchester United playing in a white zebra shirt.
Crystal Palace had beaten United earlier in the season, but they’d never beaten them at home or done the double over them for years. So the question was: Could United reduce the gap to 12 points going into the Manchester derby at the weekend or at least put it a performance that makes United fans thin they could win at the weekend?
Keep reading to find out the final result.
It was played at Selhurst Park on a foggy night.
After seven minutes, a poor clearance from Maguire and Townsend crossed for Benteke who volleyed over.
After 13 minutes, the first real United attack as there was good buildup which ended with Matic shooting from outside the area, it was deflected for a corner which came no nothing, although Maguire’s header was blocked by Rashford then Cavani shot over.
Three minutes later, there was a brilliant United move as there was a 1-2 between Fernandes and Shaw, Fernandes then passed to Rashford who took a good first touch but shot just wide, better from United.
At the midway point of the first half United were patient in their buildup again which ended with Greenwood’s left footed shot from outside the area deflecting for a corner which came to nothing.
After 27 minutes, Cavani’s header from the centre of the box was high and wide. The last meaningful first half action was after 43 minutes as Wan-Bissaka crossed brilliantly towards Cavani but it was cleared by Ward.
Halftime score: Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United
A really poor first half from both teams really, neither keeper were worked enough, could either team step it up in the 2nd half?
After 50 minutes, Ayew’s powerful right footed sot from outside the area saved by Henderson
Just before the hour mark, there was a dangerous freekick for Palace just outside the United area, Milivojevic hit the top of the wall and the ball fell to Townsend whose left footed shot went wide
With 12 minutes remaining, James had a header for United but it went deflected for a corner which came to nothing.
Three minutes later, this was the closest United came to scoring all night as Greenwood had a left footed shot outside the box but it was just too high.
After 88 minutes, Shaw a shot but was nowhere near the net.
In the last minute of normal time, Palace could have won it as Van Aanholt was in on goal, but his shot was saved by Henderson.
Fulltime score: Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United
A really, really poor performance all round from United, they couldn’t string two passes together , they had no urgency, no desire to go and win the game.
Two more dropped points for United who remain in 2nd but only just on 51 points and 14 points behind Man City.
I do genuinely fear for United that they could get absolutely battered on Sunday against Manchester City unless they work hard on the training pitch, just based on the last couple of performances.
Gary Neville at the end of the game said to Sky Sports “United were well off it , boring to watch. They let games drift too often. They could be in a battle for a top four place if they’re not careful.
Here’s a clip of exactly what he said: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/12235229/neville-utd-were-boring-to-watch
Highlights or lowlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beoAa-3sDRo
Next up for Man United is the Manchester Derby against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 7th March 2021 with a 4:30pm kickoff.
I could be in a very very angry or sad mood and it could be a painful report to write or United could surprise me who knows?