Manchester United thumped Crystal Palace 4-0 in the Premier League, courtesy of goals from Mata, Lukaku and a brace from Fellaini. With this win, United remain on top of the league, trailing only neighbours Manchester City on goal difference.
The home side began the game in brilliant fashion, scoring the opening goal with barely 2 minutes on the clock. Marcus Rashford played a superb pass after tricking Ward, only for Juan Mata to tuck it into the net past Hennessey. David De Gea then had to make a smart save from a powerful Bakary Sako shot to keep the score at 1-0 and keep his side into the lead going into the break. Marouane Fellaini, who slotted in at central midfield in Pogba’s absence, scored United’s second just after the hour mark as he volleyed home Ashley Young’s cross at the back post. He then doubled his tally when he headed Rashford’s dangerous free-kick into the net to make it 3-0. And there was still some late action left as substitute Martial pulled the ball back for Romelu Lukaku who scored his seventh goal in seven games in an emphatic start to life at Manchester United.
After this loss, Crystal Palace were left ruing their seventh straight league loss, while United are one of the only two teams to remain unbeaten in the league.
Here are the major Talking Points from the match-
Rashford and Martial have been bringing out the best in each other. Game after game, Mourinho’s getting a headache and there’s neither of the two who’s first choice at the moment. Rashford had a great match as he bagged two assists, but Martial was equal to him as he too chipped in with an assist after playing less than twenty minutes of the game. This is a dream for a manager that he can select any player at a position, and not only will he perform well, the one who replaces him for the final few minutes provides a solid case for his inclusion as well. There can’t be a better example of healthy competition in football at the moment.
Big Fella Deserves Respect
Marouane Fellaini has repaid Mourinho’s trust in him and has been reliable whenever called upon. The boss has mostly used him as a Plan B, as a long ball receiver, but he has shown that he can still do the job as a typical central midfielder as well. It wasn’t only about his two goals, as his passing and interceptions made him the perfect replacement for the injured Pogba. And he’s already scored four goals this season, and needs just another four to better his best ever record.
Crystal Palace haven’t had an upturn in form even after a change in manager. Roy Hodgson has been unable to get his team firing, and as a result they have absolutely zero points and zero goals in the league after seven matches. However, much of this is because of their injury crisis, which has coincided with their worst domestic run ever. The international break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Eagles, who’ll see the return of some players from injury over the next fortnight or so. Because simply put, they’ve not always been pathetic, they’ve been unlucky at times as well.
Lukaku Equals Cole’s record
The game marked Lukaku’s seventh goal in seven league games, which puts him at par with Andy Cole who had the same record. The Belgian striker hasn’t been anywhere near flawless, but he’s still managed to do what he was signed for- scoring goals, and lots of them. And he’ll be out to get his first record at his new club to his name when United visit bitter rivals Liverpool in two weeks’ time. On current form, who wouldn’t put his money on him scoring another goal?
Young and Jones Stand out- Yet again
This was the umpteenth time this season when Phil Jones, who has been underrated this season, has performed extremely well. He seems to gel in and create decent partnerships with any player at the back, be it Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof, or even Blind or Rojo. He seems to have finally put back his fitness problems, and as a result, he’s in the form if his life. Maybe Sir Alex was right about him, after all!
And at United’s problem position, Young has had a stellar start to the season, bagging assists game after game for his side. Not only has he kept Darmian and Blind out of the side in recent weeks, he’s also stopped Shaw’s probable return to the team. And when a player’s in such red hot form both in attack and defence, who’d want to take him out of the team?
Looks like Mourinho’s defensive problems have been eased out this season.