Yohan Cabaye says Manchester United are incapable of breaking down teams that keep their shape like Crystal Palace did on Saturday.
United drew 0-0 for the third game in succession at the weekend, with Yannick Bolasie’s shot that was tipped onto the crossbar the closest that either side went to scoring at Selhurst Park.
Cabaye was surprised by how easy it was to keep the Red Devils at bay.
“I remember I played against Man United for Newcastle they could score at every moment in a game,” the Palace midfielder said. “Here they did not have the big chances to score. Wayne Rooney had a free-kick in the first half and that was about it.
“Yes, they are a big club and yes, they can keep the ball – passes, passes, passes – but if you work hard against them and stay in a good shape they can’t do anything to pass through you or be adventurous.”
Palace defender Scott Dann agreed, adding: “That’s the way they are set up, they prefer to keep the ball for long periods. They want to keep it away from you. But that means they don’t create as many chances or threaten you as much as they did in the past.
“The quality is still there, so you have to stay on your toes. And rather than come at you like they used to do, they try to move you from side to side and try to wear you down. But they didn’t have too many chances and we should have won.”
Eagles boss Alan Pardew, meanwhile, says his side were always confident of keeping out United if they could snuff out the threat of Anthony Martial.
“We didn’t give (Anthony) Martial an inch. It was a big target for us to stop him, and we felt that if we could stop him, we could stop their creative angle, and when you take into account his age, that’s some recommendation by the way.”
The defining moment of Saturday’s fixture came when the promising Martial played a masterful through-ball to Wayne Rooney which, had the forward been playing with greater confidence, he would have controlled before scoring instead of hesitating and allowing Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to collect possession.
The move prompted questions over if Rooney should instead start wide on the left, where Martial was positioned, to allow the Frenchman to play a more central role, but Pardew believes Rooney is suffering because of United’s present inability to consistently create.
“(Martial’s) an impressive young player, I think he handled himself very impressively, and he would have felt our presence around him,” he said.
“In defence of Wayne, I didn’t really think he got a lot of good possession, I don’t think he got a lot of chances to create anything.
“So in his defence I thought we kind of bossed the second half, he didn’t see a lot of the ball, and in the first he didn’t get a lot of crosses, so it’s very difficult to have an influence on the game.”
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