Crystal Palace vs Man Utd (Premier League): Man of the Match

With Chelsea just about getting the points on Wednesday against bottom side Norwich City thanks to a single goal in first half added time, and Leicester City comfortably beating Sheffield United in Thursday’s earlier match, the only way United could have jumped into 4th place would have been by beating Crystal palace by some six goals. United had been unbeaten in their last 11 away league games against Crystal Palace and Palace had lost each of their last five Premier League games. Injuries did not permit United to field an unchanged side, with Luke Shaw having been assessed as unfit before the trip to Selhurst Park.

In the end United controlled the match, though it was far from a comfortable win. At times Palace were more than a match for their opponents. Zaha had a penalty appeal turned down, and David de Gea was forced to make five fine saves. Palace also had a goal overturned by VAR when Jordan Ayew was deemed to be an inch offside. For the record this decision means that seven goals which were originally awarded against United have been overturned by VAR this season, the joint-most of any side in the Premier League (alongside Southampton and Brighton).

Thanks to a very well taken goal by Marcus Rashford and another by Anthony Martial,  United are now back on equal points with Leicester City, with a three goal inferior goal difference and just one point below third place Chelsea. Manchester United know that two more wins from their final two games will be enough for a top-four finish in the Premier League

My Man of the Match would be Marcus Rashford. United’s hardest worker though got frustrated at times. He showed exemplary composure to put United ahead. Assisted Martial’s goal, twice showing magnificent play in the build-up.

Leicester City (goal difference 31) next have an away match against Spurs on Sunday before hosting United on the last day. Chelsea (goal difference 15) play away to Champions Liverpool on Wednesday then home to Wolves on the last day. United have a goal difference of 28. So lady luck may still smile on United. United’s last two matches are home against West Ham on Wednesday and away to Leicester City on the last day. Fingers crossed that we do not shoot ourselves in the foot once again.

Rashford Crystal Palace

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