Man Utd 4-0 Palace
Take a deep breath.
It was Manchester United’s turn to take candy from the baby as Crystal Palace slipped to an eighth consecutive Premier League defeat, seven at the start of this season, without scoring a goal. Two goals in either half saw the Eagles become only the 14th team in the history of the English Football League to lose their opening seven games – only six teams have lost their opening eight.
Juan Mata scored for United, as he always does against Palace, as early as the third minute before Marouane Fellaini stabbed home a second ten minutes before the break.
Mamadou Sakho had headed just over and Bakary Sako had forced David de Gea into a smart save before the killer second arrived, but that was about as good as it got for Roy Hodgson’s men.
Just like the first half, Palace started slowly and were 3-0 down just four minutes into the second half. Fellaini headed home a Marcus Rashford free-kick from close range – this is what happens when one has their eyes open:
Palace should have had a golden opportunity to score their opening goal of the season when Jeffrey Schlupp was clearly fouled in the penalty area. Unsurprisingly, Mike Dean waved away the protests and even Fellaini seemed baffled by Dean’s decision.
Romelu Lukaku eventually got on the scoresheet four minutes from time from close range, but as the Palace fans sang to the United fans; “How sh*t must you be, City scored five.”
Full Back Disasters
When you go to a place like Old Trafford with United in the form that they are in, gifting them a goal less than three minutes in is suicide, but gift them a goal we did. Joel Ward looked like he was doing a Pique Turn (and I am not talking Gerard) as Rashford left him for dead. It was embarrassing and I am beyond tired of watching him get destroyed.
I also found myself player watching our other full-back in this one, Patrick van Aanholt. Positionally speaking, he might be up there in the number one spot for worst left backs we have ever had. Honestly, I am not over exaggerating for effect. A Sunderland fan that I worked with tried to tell me, but I genuinely thought that he was overexaggerating. He wasn’t.
The concept of holding a defensive line is apparently optional for the man that we spent £15m on. I thought Damien Delaney was going to kill him at one point as he had to shout across for what must have been the tenth time for him to stop being five yards behind everyone else.
Sam Allardyce is heralded as a hero, but he spunked nearly £30m on PVA and Schlupp and he knew that he was signing two sh*thouses. So much so, he kicked PvA out of a training session once for being a “useless Dutch c***” – his words, not mine.
I shouldn’t write in a bad mood.
I’ll switch the tone up by happily saying that Freddie did really well when he came one. For one, he held the position of centre-forward. Bakary Sako, for all of his effort – and there was a lot of effort, kept pulling wide only to seem confused when there was no one to aim at in the middle when he was in a position to cross.
Ladapo looked strong enough to physically battle with any of the centre backs in the Premier League and has enough pace to keep them honest. He could do a lot worse while Christian Benteke is out than being the new Cameron Jerome – then we have to hope that the returning Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend can start putting the ball in the back of the net.
Man of the Match: Luka Milivojevic
Didn’t really put a foot wrong in the middle of the park. He battled well and passed expertly. Getting back towards his best – which we desperately need.
Up Next: International Break
Even Crystal Palace can’t find a way to lose when we don’t play… Unless, of course, some part-time lawyer from a bit part country decides to break one of our players' legs. It would fit the narrative at the moment.
Come on you Palace!