Man Utd 2-0 Palace

Van Persie (45), Rooney (81)
Sat 14th September 2013
Old Trafford

Referee Jon Moss stole the show at Old Trafford as a series of poor decisions, all favouring Manchester United, gave Moyes’ men the two opportunities that they needed to win the game. Kagisho Dikgacoi was dismissed on the stroke of half time for a professional foul on Ashley Young seeing a penalty wrongly awarded in the same incident. Van Persie scored from the spot before a second half Wayne Rooney free kick ended Crystal Palace’s stubborn resistance.

The game hinged on a two minute period at the end of the first half. In a game that lacked quality one piece of fantastic movement from Dwight Gayle saw him lose Rio Ferdinand to get through on goal, albeit from a tight angle. Palace’s record signing clipped the ball past David De Gea only for the ball to slide agonisingly past the far post. Moments later a poor Mile Jedinak pass sees Ashley Young steal in behind Dikgacoi and draws the foul that led to his dismissal, the penalty and the halftime lead for United.

The harsh realities of the Premier League of how not taking your chances and/or making mistakes will lead to inevitable punishment at this level was tantamount here. Unfortunately, Palace were unjustly punished this time.

The Jon Moss Horror Show

The irony of this shocking display is that it started so well for Moss. Twice he rightly turned down United penalty appeals. Evra simply fell over in the box before he booked Young for diving in the penalty area.

"All of his good work was then eradicated as he awarded a penalty to United."

All of his good work was then eradicated as he awarded a penalty to United when the foul, if indeed it was even a foul, on Young clearly took place outside the area. Then it gets worse for Moss as he decides to send KG off when it was clear that he was not the last man. In one fell swoop Palace are a goal down and a man down despite a very solid defensive performance, a performance that deserved a 0-0 half time scoreline.

Then in the second half Jimmy Kebe, making his Palace debut from the bench, was fouled at one end yet Moss did not award a foul and United went straight down the other end and were awarded a free kick in similar circumstances to the one that he decided to not award Palace only moments before. Rooney then scores from the resulting free kick to put the game beyond doubt.

His final disaster was not sending Ashley Young off with a second yellow. Young dived in, with a challenge this time, and committed a foul. Moss awarded the free kick but did not book him. Moments later Chamakh makes a carbon copy challenge and is booked. Consistency at its best.

“My opinion doesn’t matter” was Ian Holloway’s response to being asked his opinion on the penalty decision. “Meet me down the pub and I will tell you (what I think)” he said to another journalist. Whilst Holloway smartly avoided leading questions that would have landed him in more trouble with the FA, I don’t have these restrictions placed upon me.  

"Both Moss and his assistants were incompetent and should be severely reprimanded for their quite ludicrous performance."

Both Moss and his assistants were incompetent and should be severely reprimanded for their quite ludicrous performance. Sure people make mistakes but for two people, Moss and his linesman, to conspire to make such an absurd error in judgement goes beyond the realms of a simple mistake. Moss looked across to his linesman to seek help and the linesman shook his head to suggest that he didn’t see enough to make a call. The picture (see top of the page) clearly shows he has a clear line of sight to the incident and has basically bottled it. It was then left to Moss, who was miles behind play, to make the decision to award a penalty for no other reason than he was awarding a penalty to Manchester United at Old Trafford. We all know that if this had happened at the other end it would have been a free kick and a yellow card.

You’ve had a mare, Moss! To make things worse, his probable punishment will be to go and officiate in a lower division for a few weeks thus further cheapening lower league football , because the FA deem the lower league to be not as important as the Premier League.

Ashley Young:  The Cheat

Jon Moss’ performance was not helped by this man. Young spends more time on the floor than a paving stone and thus forces referee’s to constantly make decisions on whether he has dived or not. On this day Young was diving more often than not and should have seen red before he was substituted for his cheating antics.

Having already been booked for diving, kicking Dikgacoi’s leg to make it look like a foul, Young dishonestly won his side a penalty. As he got in ahead of Dikgacoi he once more initiated contact and went down like KG had drove a bus into the back of him and then made sure that he Tom Daley-ed into the area to make it look like a penalty. There is certainly an argument that Young should have received a second booking for diving here.

"He is an absolute disgrace of a man."

He is an absolute disgrace of a man. I understand that people want to win at all costs but cheating to win is classless and I am only glad for Young that he doesn’t have children and is thus spared having to go home and look them in the face and justify why cheating is ok.

The sooner that Zaha is given the chance to prove how superior to Young he is the better. Then I don’t have to watch this cheat represent my country anymore.

To close on Ashley Young I give you the words of Stan Collymore;

“I love the way some slag me on Young but Fergie AND Moyes have dug him out for it. If you dive, you’re a pussy. End of.”

Play the Game NOT the Occasion

Holloway talked about this after the game and, unfortunately, it was the case. Whilst we defended well in the first half, we defended more than we had to as our passing was often wayward and resulted in us giving the ball back to United over and over.  This being said, the pressing from the home team was excellent and forced us into the errors, one of which led to the first goal. The second half performance, with ten men, was much improved and this is proved by all of the average player position graphics. In the second half every Palace player’s average position was five to ten yards further up the pitch. By then, however, the game had already been lost.

"Gayle was effectively bullied by Vidic and Ferdinand and was not given a sniff."

Playing the occasion seemed to be the problem for two players. Firstly, Gayle just looked star struck for the first half hour and could not get in the game. Chamakh and Gayle needed to hold the ball up well in order to relieve the pressure on the defence. Whilst Marouane battled heroically and held the ball very well, Gayle was effectively bullied by Vidic and Ferdinand and was not given a sniff. He has to learn quickly about playing with his back to goal and I am hoping that he will have learned a lot from this lost battle. That being said, he tore Ferdinand a new one with his pace at the end of the first half and was inches away from scoring one of the famous Crystal Palace goals.

The other player, and I cannot believe that I am about to write this, was Mile Jedinak. This was the worst I have seen him play in a Palace shirt for well over a year. He was wasteful in possession and contributed on a large scale to the shocking team pass completion percentage of 70%.  Mile let himself down on the day and will undoubtedly want to bounce back against Swansea next week.

What did they say on Match of the Day?

I actually thought that Shearer was good in his analysis. His opinion on the penalty was correct and he highlighted well how we gave the ball away as a result of great United pressing. Then enter Alan Hansen with one comment and one comment only of “don’t try to pass it if you can’t pass”. What a prick. It is amazing that after 23 years he is still bitter over the 4-3. Get over it you sad old man.

Your Views

@DazTurner: Players and fans made me proud to be #CPFC United’s cheating players and silent fans were an embarrassment.

@rcfoster: Young’s conduct and ref’s performance were shocking, but truth is out passing was poor, especially Jedi who made the mistake for the first goal.

@LeighSnagg: We didn’t park the bus, we defended admirably. Who knows what could have been if Young didn’t like the taste of grass so much?

Man of the Match: Marouane Chamakh

No doubt about this for me. His forward play was excellent and only a lack of support in forward areas prevented him from causing United more problems than he did. Whatever we are paying him, he is worth it based on his performances so far.


Another great showing from the Red n Blue Army. Along with all the usual noise the Palace fans displayed some great, for want of a better word, banter.

On Fellaini coming on for his United debut;

“Who’s the Scouser in the wig?”

On London based United fans;

“South London is ours, South London is ours! F**k off United, South London is ours!”

Meanwhile, United fans observed in silence. Such an embarrassment.

Betting Tips

Two of our four tips, unfortunately, landed this week. United to win both halves @ 31/20 and Robin Van Persie to score first @ 3/1 so a nice bit of profit for those that followed.

Up Next

3pm Saturday kick offs are all but fond memories these days. A 1.30pm Sunday match against Swansea. The last two times we played Swansea we hardly got a kick as they spanked us 3-0 both times. I see it being far more competitive this time around. COME ON YOU PALACE!

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