Manchester United 0-0 Crystal Palace: Visitors miss host of chances in draw
Highlights and report as Manchester United sit 14 points off Premier League leaders Manchester City
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 24/11/18 8:04pm
Crystal Palace missed a host of chances as they left Old Trafford with a point following a 0-0 draw with a lacklustre Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.
United were booed off at full time after Palace missed clear-cut opportunities in both halves; first, Patrick van Aanholt miscued an effort wide when one-on-one with David de Gea, while Andros Townsend did the same with 15 minutes remaining after breaking into the box.
Both sides also had the ball in the net as Cheikhou Kouyate and Romelu Lukaku saw goals correctly ruled out for marginal offside decisions, and the game ended with Palace feeling like they should have left with three points.
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Darmian (6), Lindelof (6), Smalling (6), Young (6), Matic (5), Pogba (5), Lingard (6), Mata (6), Martial (5), Lukaku (5)
Subs: Fellaini (5), Rashford (5), Sanchez (5)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Wan Bissaka (6), Tomkins (8), Sakho (8), Van Aanholt (6), Kouyate (7), Milivojevic (6), McArthur (8), Townsend (6), Meyer (7), Zaha (7)
Subs: Schlupp (NA), Ayew (NA)
Man of the match: James Tomkins
The result means United are seventh, 14 points off leaders Manchester City, while Palace are up to 15th, a point above the drop zone.
Both sides had plenty of chances during a goalless first half, with the best arguably falling to the visitors. Returning to his former club, Wilfried Zaha saw a 25-yard effort whistle past De Gea's right-hand post, before Van Aanholt fluffed a right-footed shot wide from 12 yards, having been put through in acres of space by Zaha.
Jesse Lingard then forced a fine save from Wayne Hennessey at the other end, and Palace would have gone into the half ahead but for a fine decision from the assistant referee, flagging Kouyate offside having forced home Luka Milivojevic's free-kick.
The officials made another fine call after the break, this time flagging Lukaku for being inches offside as he turned home Ashley Young's parried shot, while Kouyate had a shot from range tipped away by De Gea, only for Townsend to see his rebound blocked too.
For United, Shaw was out, meaning Darmian came in, while Fellaini, Rashford and Herrera came out for Pogba, Mata and Lukaku, who returned after sitting on the bench in the last few games.
Palace made just one change as Zaha, returning to face his old club, replaced Ayew.
Palace should have won it through Townsend as he somehow piled his way through Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof and into the area, but he flashed the ball wide with on weaker right foot with just De Gea to beat.
Paul Pogba was replaced with 20 minutes remaining as United pushed for a winner; Lukaku's header from a Matteo Darmian cross was well tipped away by Hennessey, and sub Marcus Rashford's shot was well blocked by James Tomkins.
It ended in jeers from the home fans as United failed to turn their superior possession into chances, leaving them with an uphill task to make the top four.
- Man Utd are unbeaten in their last 21 league meetings with Crystal Palace (W17 D4).
- This was Manchester United's 65th 0-0 draw in the Premier League - 31 per cent of them have come in the six seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired (20/65).
- Man Utd failed to score in a top-flight home meeting with Crystal Palace for the first time since October 1970 (0-1).
- This was Manchester United's first home Premier League clean sheet of the season, last keeping one at Old Trafford against Watford in May.
- Crystal Palace had 13 shots in this match, their most in an away Premier League game this season. However, just two of these were on target.
Jose Mourinho: "[It's] a bad point. When the objective is to chase the top four and to close step by step the distance to these teams and you start that period of eight PL matches until the end of December, it's obviously a bad start.
"We need to improve of course, I am disappointed with the performance. Again, you are right, it is not nice just to blame the team that is favourite in the game for not winning, it is also football to praise the opponent that came here and gave everything for that point. But we obviously have to do better. "
Roy Hodgson: "When we defended well enough to win the ball back and break out, we broke out good. I thought we had quite a few opportunities where I'm sure Jose on the other bench would have been a bit worried. I'm very proud of the team's performance."
The pundit - Paul Merson
"Marouane Fellaini said before the match that United aren't far off the leaders, but not on this evidence. Palace were good, but Lukaku is working off chances like he's playing for a bottom-half team.
"Palace will come away feeling disappointed they haven't won the game. If they carry on playing like that, they'll be alright."
Man of the match - James Tomkins
Alongside partner Sakho, Tomkins was superb in dealing with United's attacking threat, particularly as the hosts went direct to Lukaku regularly.
Tomkins made 10 clearances and four interceptions, more than any other player, as Palace got their first point at Old Trafford since 1989.
United now host Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night, before a trip to Southampton on Saturday in the Premier League at 5.30pm. Palace now host Burnley in the Premier League at 3pm on Saturday.