Crystal Palace 2-3 Manchester United: Nemanja Matic seals stunning comeback
Last Updated: 06/03/18 8:15am
Nemanja Matic scored a stunning injury-time winner to complete a majestic comeback as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-2 on Monday Night Football.
Palace's last league win over United came in 1991 but goals from Andros Townsend (11) and Patrick van Aanholt (48) seemed to have put the hosts in a commanding position.
However, United came roaring back in the second half as Chris Smalling (55), Romelu Lukaku (76) and a 30-yard dipping volley from Matic (90+1) made it United's night.
The result sees Palace remain in the relegation zone while United move back into second place, above Liverpool, who they are set to face on Saturday lunchtime, live on Sky Sports.
Palace set the tone for an electric night at Selhurst Park as Townsend struck inside 11 minutes.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Van Aanholt (7), Tomkins (5), Kelly (6), Wan-Bissaka (8), Milivojevic (7), McArthur (7), Schlupp (7), Townsend (7), Sorloth (7), Benteke (7)
Subs: Riedewald (6)
Manchester United: De Gea (8), Young (6), Lindelof (6), Smalling (7), Valencia (6), Matic (9), McTominay (5), Pogba (6), Lingard (6), Sanchez (5), Lukaku (7)
Subs: Rashford (7), Shaw (6), Mata (6)
Man of the Match: Nemanja Matic
Christian Benteke held up the ball and set the ball back for Townsend to strike from 25 yards, which took a huge deflection off Victor Lindelof and flew into the top corner.
United were sloppy in possession, with Alexis Sanchez particularly wasteful when in Palace's final third.
Jose Mourinho called for Marcus Rashford at the half - but it was Palace that doubled their lead three minutes after the break.
The United defence stopped to berate the referee about a foul on Jeffrey Schlupp, who took a quick free-kick and released Van Aanholt through on goal before finishing past David De Gea at his near post.
Roy Hodgson made two changes from their defeat at Tottenham as Martin Kelly and Jeffrey Schlupp were given the nod while United made just one switch from their win over Chelsea as Jesse Lingard replaced Anthony Martial, who was not in the squad.
United needed a quick response and they got it through Smalling courtesy of some woeful defending from James Tomkins. The Palace defender sat deep in his own box following the clearance of a corner and this allowed Smalling to stand onside on the penalty spot and nod home from a Antonio Valencia cross.
United set up camp in Palace's half for the remaining 25 minutes as Matic had a shot cleared off the line by Benteke before Lukaku drew his team level. Sanchez's shot from the edge of the box deflected up and rattled the bar but the Belgian striker was quick to react and fired home from 10 yards out.
De Gea clawed out a Benteke header three minutes later and that proved a pivotal moment as United stole the points in injury time in spectacular fashion. The ball dropped to Matic about 30 yards out and the midfielder unleashed a sensational dipping half-volley that swerved into the top corner.
- Manchester United came from 2-0 down to win a Premier League game for the first time since December 2013 (away to Hull).
- Manchester United are unbeaten in all 18 Premier League meetings between the sides, the most a side has faced another without defeat in the competition.
- Matic's strike was Man Utd's first 90th minute winner in the Premier League since Marcus Rashford's against Hull in August 2016.
- Crystal Palace have now lost all nine Premier League games not to feature Wilfried Zaha this season, by an aggregate score of 3-21.
Man of the match: Nemanja Matic
Fresh from a barnstorming performance against his former club Chelsea, where his work without the ball was exceptional, he conjured up a moment of magic here to win the game for his team.
It was his first goal for the club - and one he will not forget. The £40million signing is the only United outfield player to start all 29 Premier League games this season, which emphasises his importance to Mourinho's team structure.
United are back in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday as they welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford for the first part of Rivalry Weekend. Meanwhile, Palace face a trip to Chelsea.