PREMIER LEAGUE: CRYSTAL PALACE 2-3 MANCHESTER UNITED

Nemanja Matic Photos - 5 of 886

Nemanja Matic celebrates scoring the winning goal for Manchester United

Crystal Palace Vs. Manchester United - Premier League

Chris Smalling scored Man United's first goal against Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Vs. Manchester United - Premier League

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring equalizer against Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Vs. Manchester United - Premier League

Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez fights for the ball against Crystal Palace's Aaron Wan-Bissaka

PREMIER LEAGUE: CRYSTAL PALACE 2-3 MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United defeats Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to go 2nd on EPL Table

Crystal Palace 2-3 Manchester United

Crystal Palace goals: Andros Townsend 11, Patrick Van Aanholt 48

Manchester United goals: Chris Smalling 55' min, Romelu Lukaku 76" min, Nemanja Matic 90" min

Crystal Palace goals from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt put Roy Hodgson's side on course for a first top-flight win against Manchester United in 19 matches going back to 1991, but Jose Mourinho's men battled back to victory. Serbia international Nemanja Matic scored an amazing stoppage-time winner as Man Utd came from 2-0 down to go second on the Premier League table and leave Crystal Palace in the relegation zone. Mighty Manchester United came back from being 2-0 behind to win in injury-time at Crystal Palace, due to a spectacular left-boot late strike from Nemanja Matic at 90 minutes into the top corner of the net. Chris Smalling scored Man United’s first goal, a header, at 55’, and Romulu Lukaku scored the equalizer at 76' in an exciting clash at Selhurst Park that gave the Red Devils 3 valuable points moving them back up to second place behind arch-rivals Manchester City in their battle for a top-four finish.

United manager José Mourinho was proud of his men’s intensity in fighting back from two goals down, but conceded their late victory was a “fantastic comeback with mistakes” after Nemanja Matic’s strike from 30 yards.

“It was a fantastic comeback but with mistakes,” Mourinho said. “We started bad once more. Not pressing the ball, not pressing the opposition and giving them too much space. Then they scored the goal. In the second half we conceded again, a goal to show kids in academies around the country that top teams can concede silly goals. But after that the attitude was fantastic, and the intensity, the quality, the dynamic. You need luck to win in the last minute but I say we deserved it because our domination in the last half hour was huge. I have to recognize Palace did very well. Roy was aggressive, very clever. He tried to bring the emotion of the game to his team. Congratulations to them. It’s very hard for them to go home without a single point because they gave absolutely everything but don’t get to go home with a single point.”

At the break Mourinho replaced Scott McTominay with Marcus Rashford, and Juan Mata and Luke Shaw also came off the bench. 

“Marcus was good,” said Mourinho. “He immediately created several dangerous situations. He helped to open up lots more spaces in between their defenders, where our attacking players could make runs. So he was very good for us.”

Roy Hodgson only felt “sadness” after the loss.

“I saw a group of players give their all for the club against a team who on paper are bigger than us. I can’t criticise any player or any person for the effort they made or their discipline tactically,” said Hodson. “If Matic doesn’t score a worldie I’d have been sitting here saying what a good performance, what a good point. But any analysis builds backward from the result.”

“The next game is just as difficult playing the reigning champions and the 11 who played today are the 11 I have fit,” added Hodson about his side’s next match against reigning Premier League champions Chelsea. “I don’t need convincing that this team has qualities and enormous fighting spirit. Perhaps some of these fortunate moments will fall our way as the season goes on. But whether you’re in relegation or just out of it the focus is on the same: getting points.”

With the loss of the 3 points, Crystal Palace could end their season on the bottom of the Premier League Table. If they go down by a point or two, this defeat to Manchester United will be a result that they will truly regret after almost winning when they were two goals up at home, with 42 minutes to play, and then conceding three goals to go down in defeat at the end to relegation, a point adrift of 17th place Southampton. Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is fighting the drop using everything he knows with the setback of having so many players out. Palace have now lost all nine Premier League games they have played this season without Wilfried Zaha in the side. Benteke and Alexander Sorloth were in form and worked hard for a victory, but the Eagles were desperately lacking Zaha's pace and drive. Palace have failed to win a single game in their last six and are without ten first-teamers including Wilfried Zaha through injury. 

Seventy-year-old Roy Hodson is the manager who saved West Brom and Fulham from the drop when both clubs looked buried. Hodson talked about his side’s chances of Premier League survival.

"It's been a Groundhog Day moment," said Roy Hodgson. "We once again go away with no points and like the game against Tottenham - I thought we deserved something. I was expecting to come away with one point but once again it is nothing and I feel devastated for the players. We took the game to Manchester United. If we had drawn the game, I don't think anyone - Jose included - would have said it was a scandal." 

Nemanja Matic talked about his first goal ever for Manchester United.

“Palace had the crowd behind them but we showed character. We did exactly what the manager wanted. I’m happy. When the ball bounced, I knew it was going to be a good shot. I know scoring is not my job but I have to do it sometimes.”

Crystal Palace Vs. Manchester United - Premier League

Red Devils No.1 goalie David De Gea gets massive credit for his stunning one-handed save just after Lukaku’s equalizer to help maintain Manchester United’s record of not losing to Crystal Palace in now 20 Premier League matches.

Andros Townsend's shot on goal at 11 minutes deflected in off Victor Lindelof to put Palace ahead 1-0. Patrick van Aanholt went past United’s defense to beat David de Gea at 48 minutes making the score 2-0, igniting Crystal Palace’s hopes of a first Premier League win against United. Then at 55 minutes, Chris Smalling headed in Antonio Valencia's cross – 2-1. Nemanja Matic shot was cleared off the line by Christian Benteke at 74 minutes. Star striker Romelu Lukaku equalised with a low finish after Alexis Sanchez's shot deflected up onto the crossbar at 76 mins – 2-2. Man Utd superstar goalie David de Gea made a superb save at 77 minutes to keep out a Christian Benteke header. At 90+1 minutes, Nemanja Matic scored to make it a 2-3 win for United, sending the Red Devils second. If Crystal Palace had won against Jose Mourinho’s Man United side, they would have climbed out of the relegation zone and all the way up to 13th place.

Squads

Crystal Palace 

Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp; Sørloth, Benteke. Subs: Lee, Cavalieri, Souare, Delaney, Rakip, Jach, Riedewald. 
Manchester United 

De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelöf, Young; McTominay, Matic, Pogba; Sánchez, Lingard, Lukaku. Subs: Bailly, Mata, Carrick, Rashford, Shaw, Darmian, Joel Pereira. 

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Premier League “Big Six” clubs battle for the 2017-18 trophy and title

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Manchester United goalie David De Gea