Certainly not the start we were all anticipating. With the other ’big’ sides starting well, we were all expecting United to keep in step after last season’s positive final games. True, Ole’ featured a changed line –up. I would not criticize him for this. James was rightly offered a chance to be the first choice after his form had plummeted in the final third of last season. He was however disappointing and largely anonymous and was substituted at half-time for Mason Greenwood. Dutchman Fosu-Mensah is a youngster for the future, and he deputized for right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He started tentatively before creating United’s first real chance for Mason in the second half. Scott McTominay was also given an opportunity. He worked hard but made very little impact.
In the end, it was Palace’s tactics which won the day, tight marking, pressing United, and counterattacking effectively.
In my view, it was the contentious penalty decisions that turned the match. Did not Lindelof have his arm close to his body when defending? Did David really move off the line before the kick was taken? I beg to disagree on both counts. Both pathetic refereeing decisions, in spite of VAR.
My United Man of the Match would be Donny van de Beek. He had a good debut, and although only coming on as a second-half sub, he looked much sharper than his teammates and got United’s only goal. I would bet he will be in the starting line up next match. That’s away to Luton in the League Cup, coming Tuesday.
The defeat has dealt an early blow to United’s hopes of Premier League title glory. The Boss agreed that his lethargic side was well below their best, being quoted, “You can see we are short and they deserved the points. Today was a performance you don’t see very often from this group. We should look at ourselves in the mirror. Everyone knows we can perform better than this.” Gary Neville opined afterwards, United’s problem area isn’t upfront. It’s at the back. Still, time for the transfer market to close.
Article contributed by Contributor Kenneth. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.