Late goal saves Manchester United from embarrassment

Nemanja Matic of Manchester United. Photo: By Дмитрий Голубович - https://www.soccer0010.com/galery/1013619/photo/673728, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Manchester United have managed to salvage a late victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League this morning thanks to a late goal from Nemanja Matic.

Manchester United were down 1-0 at half time and it looked all but over as their shaky defence let in another shortly after the break to give Crystal Palace a 2-0 lead after 49 minutes. But a wonder strike from Matic has saved the Red Devils from an embarrassing loss and kept them in second place on the Premier league table.

United deserved to be down at the break with pundits describing their performance as “worst this season” and “woeful” as Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt helped Palace to a 2-0 lead. Much of the blame for United poor showing was directed at Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku – two big money signings who are yet to get the approval of the United faithful.

It was Chris Smalling who brought Manchester United back to life in the 55th minute before Romelu Lukaku drew United back level on 76 minutes. The ever reliable David de Gea made some crucial saves in the final minutes of the match to leave Manchester United in with a chance.

A draw looked likely before Nemanja Matic stepped up a put a world class strike into the back of the net. More than anything, I’m sure that this caused a sense of relief amongst the United fans.

Marcus Rashford was introduced in the second half and was one of the key figures in turned the tide for his Manchester United side with his pace and energy down the wings.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said after the match that Crystal Palace “also deserve congratulations” for their performance.

He continued to say that it was a “fantastic match for the people…difficult for me.”

Manchester United were lucky to get away with the victory after some honest criticism at the half time break with former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves saying that the first goal they conceded was both “offensively poor (and) defensively not doing their job”.

He also had some harsh words for new signing Alexis Sanchez who he believes “takes too many touches” turning the ball over every time he touches it.

Manchester United’s win keeps them in second place, 16 points behind league leaders Manchester City and 2 points ahead of Liverpool.

Crystal Palace remains in the relegation zone with that loss having climbed out in the second half with their 2-0 lead.

Manchester United are now preparing for their next Premier League clash with Liverpool on Saturday in what shapes as a pivotal clash in the race for 2nd place.

Zac Fyffe :Passionate about writing and sharing my experiences with others. Zac has a keen interest in sport and politics in particular. Contact: zachary.fyffe@bestinau.com.au