Man United Hold Off Palace Despite Casemiro Seeing Red In Bust Up

Manchester United saw off a late charge to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes scored the opener, with Marcus Rashford doubling the lead before Jeffrey Schlupp gave Palace a route back into the game which Patrick Vieira’s men never capitalised on.

United midfielder Casemiro saw red in the second half after a heated bust-up between players.

Previous matchups

Crystal Palace and Manchester United have faced each other 63 times before this meeting with the Red Devils winning 40 times, drawing 13 and losing 10. This would suggest United had a significant edge going off previous results. However, in recent years, United have only won one game in five against the South London side.

Despite this, Palace have failed to win in their previous five games which heavily contrasts the Manchester sides form as the twenty time league winners have 10 wins in 12 games.

Team sheets

Manchester United:

  • De Gea
  • Aaron Wan Bissaka
  • Raphael Varane
  • Lisandro Martinez
  • Luke Shaw
  • Casemiro
  • Fred
  • Bruno Fernandes
  • Antony
  • Marcus Rashford
  • Wout Weghorst

Crystal Palace:

  • Vincente Guaita
  • Nathaniel Clyne
  • Chris Richards
  • Marc Guehi
  • Tyrick Mitchell
  • Will Hughes
  • Cheick Oumar Doucoure
  • Jordan Ayew
  • Michael Olise
  • Jeffrey Schlupp
  • Odsonne Edouard

Selection discussion

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag made one change from the side that beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 three days prior. England international Rashford returns to the starting 11 with Alejandro Garnacho dropping to the bench.

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira made three changes to the Palace side which earned a point against Champions League football contenders Newcastle United at Selhurst Park. Former Liverpool fullback Nathaniel Clyne replaced Joel Ward. Furthermore,Will Hughes replaced Wilfred Zaha, which meant Schlupp moved to the left wing. Michael Olise replaced Eberechi Eze.

The selection of Nathaniel Clyne drew interest as his selection could have been technical mind games from the French manager as he fed of the former Liverpool players hunger to beat United.

Marcus Rashford’s return to the team didn’t surprise many due to his recent superb form particularly at home.

Match Overview

Manchester United blitzed into an early lead within seven minutes.

This came after a Rashford cross hit Hughes’ arm which VAR deemed a penalty, before Bruno Fernandes coolly dispatched his spot-kick from 12 yards.

This gave United a crucial early lead which Ten Hag hoped his team could build on to avoid any last minute equalisers seen through an Olise wonder freekick just two weeks before.

United almost made it two after a Luke Shaw corner was met by six foot six Wout Weghorst, whose header was looping into the top corner but for Spanish goalkeeper Vincente Guaita to squander it away. French defender Raphael Varane followed up from a scramble in the box but his effort was blocked.

Minutes passed with little goalmouth action from either side.

However, in the 37th minute, January transfer signing Weghorst laid the ball back to Fred whose shot was just narrowly wide.

United went into the half time interval a goal up, controlling the game, but with the away side still firmly in with a chance of upsetting United’s home game win streak.

In the 56th minute, Bruno Fernandes played a delicious pass to the oncoming Rashford who cut in on his right foot hoping to whip his effort into the top corner. Unfortunately for United’s number 10, his effort was comfortably seen over the bar by Guaita

Upon the hour, supersub Alejandro Garnacho was brought onto replace Weghorst, which meant Rashford went through the middle and Garnacho off the left.

Just a couple minutes later, after some superb passing football, Garnacho laid it off to Shaw,, who drilled a first time cross into the feet of Rashford who subtly placed his finish past Guaita to double United’s lead.

This relieved an anxious Old Trafford reminiscing on a potential dejavu from the reverse fixture weeks prior.

However, three minutes after the goal, a big bust-up occured as a result of a challenge from Schlupp on Antony. Consequently, both players received a booking. Due to the incident, VAR began looking for any potential incidents. Subsequently, VAR believed Casemiro to have committed a red card offence due to having his hands on Hughes throat. Thus, the Brazilian midfielder was sent off.

As it was a straight red card, this meant the Brazilian midfielder was out of the next three games, meaning his first possible game back would be the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United.

As a result of the red card, the game’s momentum began to change.

In the 75th minute, David De Gea made a trademark stop to deny Marc Guehi’s powerful header from a corner.

A minute later, Palace had another corner which Rashford cleared only as far as Doucoure, whose mishit effort falled for Schlupp, who diverted his flick goalwards beating De Gea and halving the deficit.

This set up a nervy last 15 minutes for the hosts.

The last quarter was a Palace onslaught.

However, summer signing Lisandro Martinez was game-changing in his persistent defence of the United goal. His reading of the game and defensive awareness helped avoid Palace from creating any clear-cut chances.

Palace had a couple half chances but United’s defence kept them out.

The referee awarded seven minutes of added time, but this was expertly wound down by a resilient United side.

Ultimately, this was enough to secure the hosts the three points in a 2-1 victory.

How United secured victory

The first 65 minutes of the game was relatively straight forward for the hosts as United dominated possession patiently trying to carve out opportunities.

Rashford’s goal epitomised the work Ten Hag has imposed onto this side playing faster more direct football.

However, it was after the loss of Casemiro that United showed courage.

The control in the team was lost and United were severely on the backfoot. However, Ten Hag’s decision to put Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof on worked.

Although it was Martinez who was the difference. His tenacity and consistent workrate ensured he went for every tackle and prevented any major threat. This helped neutralise multiple threatening Palace opportunities, that in seasons of old would have resulted in goals.

The most evident difference between Ten Hag’s United and previous managers was the workrate. The willingness to do everything to stop Palace in the dying embers of the game was remarkable. United had Palace penned in in their own half despite being a man down due to their probing press. This shows a clear mentality shift from previous seasons and is a big takeaway from the game.

Next up for the hosts

United next face Leeds in a Premier League double header as Ten Hag’s team play at Old Trafford on Wednesday and Elland Road on Sunday. Ten Hag will be hoping to do the double over their fierce rivals despite the loss of Casemiro.

Palace return to Selhurst Park for their upcoming game to face inform Brighton on Saturday. Vieira will be hoping to swiftly bounce back, avoiding any potential relegation battle.