Ten-man Manchester United put on a gutsy performance to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
The hosts were in control before Casemiro was sent off in the 70th minute, and a goal from Jeffrey Schlupp six minutes later set up a nervous last 15 minutes.
Fernandes gave United the lead
Bruno Fernandes gave United the lead in the seventh minute from the penalty spot after Marcus Rashford’s cross hit Will Huges’s arm which was raised high above his head.
The home side played some free-flowing football right from the start much to the delight of their faithful support.
Wout Weghorst came close to making it 2-0 minutes later but Palace goalkeeper Vincent Guaita made an acrobatic stop to deny the Dutchman.
Palace had held United in the reverse fixture a fortnight back thanks to Micheal Olise’s stunning stoppage-time free kick.
However, Patrick Vieira’s side looked pedestrian for the majority of the first half and clearly missed Wilfried Zaha as they failed to mount any significant attack. Palace looked sloppy, far from their best, showing why they have been winless in their last five League games.
The Red Devils too hadn’t won in the Premier League since the Manchester derby in mid-January. Eric ten Hag’s side are flying in domestic cup competitions, reaching the final of the EFL cup, and are also in the last 16 of the FA Cup.
Lead doubled on the hour
Soon after the break, United doubled their lead in the 62nd minute after Rashford slotted home following some wonderful interplay from the hosts.
Substitute Alejandro Garnacho combined with Casemiro and then Luke Shaw whose low cross was finished by aplomb by Rashford.
Red card for Casemiro
What looked like a comfortable victory soon took an ugly turn for United. Casemiro was sent off in the 70th minute after replays from VAR suggested that the Brazilian had wrapped his hands across Hughes’ neck following a scuffle.
Palace took advantage as Schlupp made it 2-1 after Cheick Doucoure’s mishit. The away side pushed for an equalizer but United held on for crucial three points.
The win sees United climb into third place with 42 points from 21 games, but ten Hag would be disappointed to lose Casmeiro.
The midfielder has been in great form this season and with Christian Eriksen out injured, United will have to see off their upcoming games against Leeds United (twice) and Leicester City in the Premier League before their midfield general returns for the EFL Cup final against Newcastle United.
Photo credit: IMAGO / PA Images
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