Patrick Van Aanholt scored a dramatic late winner as Crystal Palace beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Daniel James scored what looked to be a late equaliser, but Palace ended up taking all three points. Jordan Ayew had put Palace ahead in the 32nd minute but United missed the chance to equalise in the second half when Marcus Rashford’s penalty struck the post.
The Eagles will be flying high after this result and aim to build on this momentum when they host Aston Villa at Selhurst Park next weekend. Meanwhile, United look to get back to winning ways away at Southampton.
Hodgson gave 33-year-old Gary Cahill his Palace debut and picked three holding midfielders to underline Palace’s intention to make it as hard as possible for United. Wilfried Zaha had a point to prove following his disappointing spell at Old Trafford under David Moyes while United picked £50million full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka against his former club.
The outcome might have been different had Rashford kept his feet when put clean through early on. Instead, he stumbled and allowed Martin Kelly to put in an excellent recovery tackle. Soon after van Aanholt threw himself in the way of James shot to symbolise Palace’s fantastic defending.
The home side seemed disjointed. Rashford and Paul Pogba, at the centre of a penalty controversy at Wolves on Monday that saw Pogba miss, took three free-kicks between them – and missed the lot.
Palace took the lead after 32 minutes with a route one goal that should have been defended better. Goalkeeper Vicente Guaiata launched a long clearance that cleared the halfway line and Jeffrey Schlupp showed greater determination than Victor Lindelof to win a header.
With no United defender covering, Ayew had time and space to slip a low finish past de Gea for his first in 11 games. United made an immediate change with club captain Ashley Young coming on for Shaw who was carrying a knock. Home fans, and some players, called for a red card against Cahill when he upended Martial on the edge of the box, but referee Paul Tierney settled on a yellow.
Rashford took the ball without any challenge this time but hit the inside of Guiata’s right upright before the ball bounced to safety. He’d scored with all his six previous penalties for club and country. United thought they’d got the draw when James curled in a brilliant leveller after good combination play between Pogba, Rashford and Martial.
But as they chased a late winner, van Aanholt burst out of defence, got the ball back from Zaha and struck a firm finish at De Gea’s near post. The power was too much for the Spaniard though he will feel he may have done better.