Toothless Man Utd tread water as Crystal Palace contain Fernandes and co.

Date published: Wednesday 3rd March 2021 10:03 - Steve Pearson


Man Utd produced a tepid display against Crystal Palace as they were forced to settle for a point with their second consecutive 0-0 draw in the league. 

Man Utd struggled to settle early with Harry Maguire gifting Crystal Palace the game’s first real opportunity.

Andros Townsend picked out Christian Benteke in the box but there was to be no repeat of his heroics versus Brighton as the Belgian blazed his volley over the crossbar.

The visitors soon settled, and came close to breaking the deadlock through the unlikely source of Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian rifled a shot from distance that took a deflection en route to Vicente Guaita’s goal. The goalkeeper showed great athleticism to palm the ball round for a corner from which Maguire and Edinson Cavani saw chances come and go.

Luke Shaw then picked Marcus Rashford out in acres of space in the area. The England hitman would’ve expected to do better as he pulled his low effort narrowly wide of the mark.

A malaise then descended onto the contest as both sides showed a distinct lack of quality in all facets of their game.

Neither side could find the cutting edge required in the final third to unlock the defences as the first-half began to drift towards a goalless conclusion.

One moment of quality did emerge before the break – a teasing low cross by Aaron Wan-Bissaka destined for the boot of Cavani that was expertly cut out by Joel Ward.

Luka Milivojevic crashed a free-kick straight into the ball on the hour mark. Andros Townsend picked up the scraps but flashed an effort wide of the post as the search for an opener continued.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shuffled his pack with 20 minutes remaining as Scott McTominay and Daniel James replaced Fred and Cavani.

James almost made an immediate impact when ghosting into the Palace box unmarked. The Welshman was picked out with an accurate cross but fluffed his lines as the chance came to nothing.

Mason Greenwood finally burst into life with ten minutes remaining. The youngster drifted in-field before unleashing a curling effort that flew inches wide of Guaita’s post.

Patrick Van Aanholt saw a glorious late chance go begging when Dean Henderson’s quick reactions helped to smother the full-back’s shot.

That would prove to be the game’s final defining moment as both sides had to settle for a point apiece.


Related Articles