Momentum for Manchester United before the away game against Crystal Palace was at its all-time high since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson about a decade ago, as Erik ten Hag has revived this United team and made it looking like its old self. They came to Selhurst Park aiming to bag ten consecutive wins in all competitions and a sixth consecutive win in the English Premier League, after their dramatic comeback victory against arch-nemesis at Old Trafford last time around. The Red Devils dominated most parts of the game and almost had their tenth win in a row, before Crystal Palace’s former EFL Young Player of the Season Michael Olise levelling the score with his stunning set piece.
Wout Weghorst Started in His Debut for United
Erik ten Hag’s side could go second should it be able to beat the Eagles at their home, with Manchester City and Newcastle United both not in action last night. The 52-year-old Dutchman made three changes to his team which emerged victorious against the defending champion Manchester City, with 30-year-old striker Wout Weghorst starting for his debut for United in the Premier League; World Cup winner Lisandro Martínez and Brazil’s Antony were inserted into the game as starters as well.
With a huge chance to achieve an impressive ten wins in a row on the cards, the Red Devils started their 19th Premier League fixture this season brightly, with Antony’s effort chipped towards the wrong side of the goal post and Weghorst’s header went slightly over the bar. United continued to knock the door for an opener, and minutes before the half-time break, the in-form Marcus Rashford unleashed Christian Eriksen into the penalty box, before the latter swiping the ball for his captain Bruno Fernandes to slot home a goal. It was the 28-year-old midfielder’s second goal in as many games, and his fifth in 27 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United this season.
United Struggled to Hold onto Their Lead in the Second Half
Patrick Vieira’s men were determined to rally back into the game and find an equaliser, as Manchester United was unable to find their second goal of the evening. The Eagles’ Marc Guéhi came close to do so with his header, but was repelled by United’s no. 1 David de Gea. Nonetheless, the 32-year-old goalkeeper had no chance saving a wonder free kick by 21-year-old Michael Olise in the first minute of the stoppage time. His left-footed strike gorgeously hit the bar before going in to give Palace a valuable point in their league endeavour.
Manchester United had a chance to regain its lead through Casemiro, but he did not expect Bruno Fernandes’s corner delivery to land before him. The unmarked Casemiro was inches away from giving United all three points, while teenage sensation Alejandro Garnacho’s following shot just outside the penalty box was firmly held by the opposing shot stopper Vicente Guaita. United was left frustrated on the pitch, after failing to acquire all three points from the game and having their hopes of winning ten straight games diminished.
Manchester United were three minutes away from winning their sixth straight Premier League game and moving into second place 😐 pic.twitter.com/CwNC2f98iq
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 18, 2023
Casemiro Suspended from Playing Against Arsenal
Being held to a draw was not the only disappointment United had in the game, because Marcus Rashford’s scoring streak in all of United’s games since the World Cup break was also ended in the hands of Crystal Palace’s. Besides, the team has lost its precious central defensive midfielder Casemiro for the next game due to a suspension, after the 30-year-old picked up his fifth yellow card in this season’s Premier League. He was penalised after a two-foot challenge over former United man Wilfried Zaha.
The one point gained moved United into the third place of the table, and they will be preparing for a heavyweight trip to the Emirates Stadium next, a place where league leader Arsenal has not lost a league game in the entire season. It is worth noting that Arsenal’s only loss in the Premier League this season was a 3-1 defeat to United at Old Trafford. Since then, the Gunners had won 10 games and drew twice in the league, solidifying their no. 1 position with 47 points in total at the moment.