Nemanja Matic volley caps Manchester United comeback at Crystal Palace


Manchester United dealt Crystal Palace a deflating blow, and fortified its personal place within the Premier League prime 4, with a dramatic three-goal comeback at Selhurst Park on Monday evening.

United, far too sloppy and much too slender early on, had fallen behind 1-0. Shortly after halftime, Patrick van Aanholt doubled Palace’s lead, and appeared to set the hosts on their manner out of the relegation zone.

However Chris Smalling capitalized on some slack Palace marking to convey United again to inside one. Romelu Lukaku equalized. David De Gea’s heroics prevented a 3rd Palace purpose. And at last, with the sport clock having ticked previous 90 minutes, Nemanja Matic gained the sport with a swerving half-volley:

Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic celebrates his late winner at Crystal Palace. (Getty)

Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic celebrates his late winner at Crystal Palace. (Getty)

United’s varied points had been laid naked within the first half. “My crew made so many errors,” Jose Mourinho mentioned after the match. “We had superb perspective, we had high quality soccer within the second half, however we made so many defensive errors – and I’m not talking solely about my defenders.”

It wasn’t simply the errors, although. United had structural flaws. Mourinho began the evening with no wingers, in what appeared like a tilted model of the 4-2-2-2 that beat Chelsea eight days earlier. He relied on his fullbacks for width, however they didn’t present a lot of it. United missed alternatives to spray the ball aspect to aspect, and mis-hit passes supposed to perform simply that.

On the different finish, a kind of errors Mourinho alluded to value United an early purpose. Paul Pogba allowed Andros Townsend to sneak into house on the prime of the field. Townsend hit Christian Benteke’s cross first time. His shot deflected off Victor Lindelof, and previous a helpless De Gea:

United then fell asleep early within the second half. Palace midfielder Jeff Schlupp launched van Aanholt with a quickly-taken free kick, and the Dutch left again slotted previous De Gea on the close to submit.

A few Mourinho substitutions modified the sport. The Portuguese boss inserted Marcus Rashford at halftime instead of the ineffective Scott McTominay. Rashford supplied much-needed width.

With the sport at 2-1 after Smalling’s header, Mourinho then threw on Juan Mata for Antonio Valencia. Jesse Lingard turned the nominal proper again, however retained attacking midfield tasks as United threw every thing ahead in the hunt for an equalizer.

That second purpose was a real end result of the Purple Devils’ stress. Minutes earlier, Benteke had cleared a Matic shot off the road. With quarter-hour remaining, United had picked its manner via Palace once more, and a deflected Alexis Sanchez shot skimmed again off the crossbar. It appeared to skim up off the turf into Lukaku’s hand as effectively. However the Belgian’s end stood, and United was degree.

As Lukaku raced again to the midway line, eager to get on with the sport’s closing chapter, a United victory gave the impression to be the one finish in sight. Palace appeared unsettled. United roared on with intent.

Earlier than the guests may even start plotting their escape route, although, Benteke rose to fulfill a cross on the different finish. De Gea needed to leap to his proper to scrape the goal-bound effort to security.

That Palace assault was the catalyst for a frantic closing quarter-hour. Possibilities got here and went at each ends. The decisive second wasn’t even one among them. It was much less an opportunity, extra hypothesis, one final audacious try.

And it proved to be price it. Matic restored United’s tenuous foothold in second place. He took the Purple Devils 9 factors away from fifth-place Chelsea. He draped a skinny cloak over the issues which might be nonetheless very a lot current, however that in the end didn’t inhibit the Purple Devils’ quest for 3 factors on Monday, and certain gained’t inhibit Champions League qualification.

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Henry Bushnell covers world soccer, and sometimes different ball video games, for Yahoo Sports activities. Have a tip? Query? Remark? E-mail him at or comply with him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.



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