Having drawn their last 3 away Premier League games, Manchester United look to recharge their famous away record against Crystal Palace. They were unable to do so, playing another boring 0-0 draw to move even further away from Man City at the top of the table. The Red Devils dominated 65% possession and created a few decent chances in the first half, but just weren’t ruthless enough to break the deadlock.
But they couldn’t turn up the ante after that, putting in a lethargic performance in the second half. That game itself was absolutely dire and probably among United’s poorest performance in a long time.
Thanks to good fortune, the Red Devils are still able to hold onto their 2nd place in the league as well as their away unbeaten streak – but unless they bring major improvements to their game against Man City – they could be in for an embarrassment on Sunday.
Manchester United player ratings vs Crystal Palace
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4.5)–
Solskjaer made a few positive changes to his team which seemed perfect for this game, but ultimately those new faces couldn’t really win his side the game. After a decent start, his side were extremely sluggish with their attacking work and looked too lethargic in the final third.
His substitutes didn’t work either today and his players just didn’t seem that bothered to win the game. Solskjaer couldn’t drive his players to burst forward for that much-needed goal either, while his tactics again fell flat against a defensive side. Needs a lot to do for his side to get anything out of the Manchester Derby.
Dean Henderson (7.5) –
With De Gea out for today, Henderson gets a deserved start in the PL. Dealing with Palace’s crosses expertly! Makes a solid save off Ayew’s attempt in the 50th. Then makes a terrific save to deny Van Aanholt a winner in the 90th! Definitely capitalized on his opportunity with a great showing to earn a clean sheet (and possibly a point) for United.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5) –
Wan-Bissaka’s back playing in his former home ground and looks promising going forward, sending in some great crosses in the first half. Did some good work down the right flank, both attacking & defensive wise, but unable to really create a difference in the final third with his crosses.
Harry Maguire (7.5) –
The United captain is perfectly suited to physical games like these and looks very sharp today, making some clutch clearances to steer away danger in the first half. Dealt with Benteke’s threat pretty well and won all the aerial battles & key duels today. Did his job well even though those ahead of him disappointed.
Eric Bailly (7.0) –
Bailly returns to the team after being out with a freak injury for a while. Looked very comfortable defending against Palace’s attackers, making some great challenges and using his pace to clear away a lot of danger. Perhaps his passing could’ve been a bit more creative, but the Ivorian ensured another clean sheet for United with a sturdy display.
Luke Shaw (7.0) –
Shaw looks to be operating at his newfound swagger and almost created a goal in the 17th with a great cross which Rashford failed to capitalize on. He was an absolute engine going up & down the left flank, also keeping the tricky Andros Townsend quiet all game long. Another solid performance from Shaw, who continues to maintain his high performance
Nemanja Matic (7.0) –
Three seasons ago, Matic scored a last-minute screamer in this fixture. He almost replicated that in the 13th, with his powered attempt forcing a top save from Vicente Guaita. To his credit, Matic was probably United’s best midfielder today. Moved the ball forward fluently, did a lot of solid defensive work and stopped many of Palace’s counter-attacks.
Fred (4.5) –
With no McTominay today, Fred is back to playing the creative role in midfield. Offered little to no creative threat, with all his passes going sideways. Made unnecessary fouls and not as sparky as he usually is either. Subbed after an underwhelming performance.
Bruno Fernandes (4.0) –
After his drab showing vs Chelsea, Bruno starts this one in sloppy fashion – making unnecessary fouls early on. Got more involved with better breakthrough passes but unable to make a difference in the first half. His frustrations continued in the second half, as he was unable to create anything special & was boxed out by the Palace players. Another disappointing performance & Bruno looked shot of his confidence today.
Mason Greenwood (4.5) –
The youngster looks much more menacing in the right-wing role today and got a decent scoring chance in the 23rd, but his powered attempt was deflected wide. Had another swipe at goal from just outside the area in the 82nd, but his shot powered over the bar. With only one goal in his last 20+ apps, Greenwood needs his scoring magic back to survive in the starting XI.
Edinson Cavani (5.5) –
Cavani gives the Red Devils a much-needed facelift upfront with his return. Flicked an attempt over the bar in the 14th from a promising area. Despite coming off an injury, he put in his everything to help recover possession and try to get something started in the attack. Got zero delivery inside the box.
Marcus Rashford (3.0) –
Rashford received a brilliant scoring chance inside the box in the 17th, but his sliced attempt whiskered past the goal. Things then went from bad to worse after that, being nearly invisible on the left and fluffing whatever chances came at his path. One of his worst performances for United this season.
Scott McTominay (5.o) –
McTominay nearly got a big scoring chance minutes after coming on, but fluffed his lines in the final third to waste a good chance. Couldn’t really make any impact as an attacking substitute or win the game for United.
Dan James (N/R) –
The Welshman looked to use his pace against a tired Palace backline, but his final product was disappointing today. Got a good scoring chance with a free header late on but couldn’t flick it on target either.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Struggling to find any candidates after such a dreadful performance. But Dean Henderson was really impressive today, so I’ll give him today’s MOTM.