Manchester United got the 3 points that they really needed at Selhurst Park today with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. United put an end to their dismal run of defeats that saw them losing 3 successive without finding the back of their opponents net. United got the three points thanks to a Juan Mata penalty in the first half and Fellaini headed the winner after 78 minutes. The game started in the same manor that United’s last three games have gone with them dominating possession and their opponents sitting back. Despite dominating the possession, United again were struggling to penetrate their opponents. The penalty came in the 19th minute though as Young attacked Palace down the left hand side, he skipped past Palace defender Joel Ward who like many players today slipped on the surface. Young played the ball into the box and Scott Dann was adjudged to have played out for a corner with his arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Juan Mata took the penalty after recent misses from the spot by Van Persie and Rooney, Mata managed to just beat the Palace goalkeeper Speroni as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
The rest of the half was played out with United dominating possession and Palace looking to break out on them, midway through the first half United had to replace Shaw after he suffered a knock to the head and probably wouldn’t have been able to tell the United doctors where he was. Shaw was replaced by Evans, with Jones moving out to left-back. Rooney also suffered what seem to be a dead leg in the first half and tried to run it off but had to admit defeat with Falcao replacing him at the start of the 2nd half. With Palace bring on Jason Puncheon at the start of the 2nd half, they began the half on the front foot and United struggled to get a foothold in the half. Puncheon had claims for a penalty after he was caught in the box by Mata but he probably made too much of it, though United could have no complaints if it had been given. Palace pulled level when Puncheon’s free-kick was deflected into De Gea’s net off Daley Blind. Many will ask what was Blind doing as he stood in the wall and made no attempt to get a real block on the ball.
After drawing level Palace seemed to go back to their plan a and allowed United to control the possession again, whilst looking to hit United on the break. United created a few openings before finally regaining the lead through Fellaini’s header.The move that saw United take the lead again started through Fellaini in the centre of the midfield, he played the ball out to Young on the left, Young seem to have been marshalled by Ward before he cut inside and played the ball into the area, Speroni came out for the ball but missed it and collided into his own defender, leaving Fellaini free to head the ball into an empty net. United manage to play out the final period of the game, though Palace did cause United and their fans to biting their nails. United took the 3 points though to move 7 points clear of Liverpool in fifth place ahead of their game against Chelsea tomorrow. This was a win United needed regardless of how they played. They just need to confirm that Champions League place and then Van Gaal can start planning for next season.
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