Stop Anthony Martial and you stop Manchester United, says Palace boss Alan Pardew

Anthony Martial: Crystal Palace targeted the Man Utd striker and held them to a 0-0 draw
Image: Anthony Martial: Crystal Palace targeted the Man Utd striker and held them to a 0-0 draw

Alan Pardew has revealed that stopping Anthony Martial was key to Crystal Palace holding Manchester United to a goalless draw on Saturday.

United drew a blank in front of goal for the third game in succession with Martial starting out wide before moving to a more central role as Louis van Gaal's side struggled to create chances at Selhurst Park.

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
Alan Pardew

And following the game, the Eagles boss singled out his team's marshalling of Martial for particular praise.

"We didn't give Martial an inch," he said. "Not 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.

"I have to say that he's an impressive young player. I think he handled himself very well today, because he would have felt our presence around him, and still he had moments in the game.

"With such a young player, he'll have to be very, very careful, the Manchester United manager, to keep his exuberance there. Because we're all looking to stop him."

Pardew also defended Wayne Rooney who has come in for criticism after scoring just two league goals this season.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United shoots at goal against Crystal Palace
Image: Wayne Rooney endured another frustrating afternoon at Selhurst Park

"In defence of Wayne I didn't really think he got a lot of good possession," he added. "I didn't think he had a lot of chances to create anything.

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"I thought we bossed the second half, and in the first half he didn't get a lot of crosses, so it's very difficult for him to have an influence on the game."

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