Two-nil dwn, 3-2 up. Manchester United fans had forgotten days like this existed it has been so long since they came from behind, when losing at half-time. They used to be famous for it; lately they have become infamous for meek surrenders. The title is gone, but this may be a watershed victory under Jose Mourinho.
As for Romelu Lukaku, nobody was complaining about him scoring against the little teams on Monday night, except perhaps Roy Hodgson.
Antonio Valencia crossed and Smalling got there first, steering the gentlest, simplest header past Wayne Hennessey and in at the far corner.
Time seemed to stand still for the equaliser, too, after an Alexis Sanchez shot ricocheted up off Tomkins. It fell to Lukaku who seemed to have an age to turn and beat Hennessey with a low shot, Palace sluggish in their reaction. In that moment, Palace fell five places and back into the relegation zone.
Sluggishness is most certainly not a fault of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea who, moments later, pulled off one of the saves of the season to keep out a Christian Benteke header. Manchester United now stay third, on goal difference. Where they might be without the brilliant De Gea, however, is quite another matter.
seemed Palace had done enough to hold off United’s advances and clinch a draw, but Matic stepped up in stoppage time, lashing in his first goal for the club from long range to clinch an unlikely victory and put Mourinho’s side back up to second ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.