Man Utd lose 2-1 at Home to Palace: 3 Things We Learned

1. First off, allow me to eat humble pie on my judgement on Dan James last week. I still think he is way off being a finished product, but my world, what a screamer his equaliser was. He worked his socks off also for the whole match and was very unfortunate that he received a yellow card for diving for the second week running. The replays have shown that the defender had clipped his knee and the referee missed it totally. I had called last week for Greenwood to be given more time on the pitch in James’s place. Ole must have had the same thoughts but Mason never got a grip during his 40 minutes on the pitch. I still think that Mason has a great future but it shows how young players need time to produce consistently on the big stage.

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2. The ref and VAR had a terrible match. No excuses for the result but matches are won by fine margins, most of the times. I will mention just a few incidents where the ref made clear mistakes and was not overruled by VAR or could not have been overruled according to the guidelines in place. Martial was through and blatantly tripped by Cahill. Ref decided against a red card, when it was a clear goal opportunity. Martial pulled back in the box by Kelly in front of the referee. Surely a penalty but the ref played on. Rashford tripped in the second half in the box, and again no penalty. The James incident mentioned above. And one which many may have missed. In the build up to the goal, Pogba played the ball through and Zaha came in late on him at full force and left Pogba in a heap. Mis-timed tackle and a certain yellow. The ref allowed play to continue and James scored. I was expecting the ref to go back on the incident and book Zaha, which would have been a second yellow. Instead, he allowed him to stay on and two minutes later he had a big part in the Palace winner. Fine margins.

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3. Cannot not mention the two missed penalties in two consecutive matches. They could have costed us 5 points. One thing is certain. Rashford should take the next penalty when we have one. He was very unlucky with his pen and I would keep him as the number one penalty taker.

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