Manchester United 0 Crystal Palace 0 – Eagles should have pulled off famous win at Old Trafford

BY MATT WOOSNAM

An excellent performance earned Crystal Palace a well-deserved point at Manchester United, but it should have been more.

Both sides had a goal ruled out for offside, but it was the visitors who otherwise came closest to breaking the deadlock as United struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Palace had the better of the first half, weathering some early United pressure.

Victor Lindelof bundled the ball into the back of his own net under pressure from Cheikhou Kouyate from a free-kick after Max Meyer was fouled but a late flag ruled out the goal for offside, with replays showing it was a marginal decision, albeit the correct one.

Meyer was Palace’s best player in the opening 45 and frequently moved into the middle from the left side to dictate play on the counter attack, linking up well with Zaha twice.

Earlier, Patrick van Aanholt should have put his side ahead as they attacked with pace down the right, and Meyer’s pass found Zaha who squared it to the Dutchman but he scuffed a glorious chance wide with only David de Gea to beat with 26 minutes played.

United went up the other end to create their best chance of the game when Chris Smalling headed Jesse Lingard’s free-kick wide of Wayne Hennessey’s goal when well placed at the back post just two minutes later.

Zaha had also threatened, once firing narrowly wide, and another time narrowly over having cut inside from the left.

But for all their positivity and pressure, the Eagles went into the break level, without a shot on target.

The second half began how the first finished, both sides trading possession and counter attacks, but the first meaningful action came on 57 minutes when Romelu Lukaku saw his tap in ruled out for offside.

Hennessey made an excellent save from Ashley Young’s effort from the edge of the box. The Welshman saw the ball very late, but managed to parry it wide. Lukaku was there to follow up, but the assistant’s flag was raised once again to deny him.

With just 16 minutes remaining, Andros Townsend had a glorious chance to put Palace ahead. The winger beat three men – aided by some fortune, before shooting across De Gea’s goal, but wide.

Hennessey was once again called into action late on when he got down superbly to save a Lukaku header and keep his side in it.

Palace remain winless in the Premier League against Manchester United, but they came mighty close to ending that run here.

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