Manchester United maintained their push to finish in the top four this season after they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 today at Old Trafford.
Erik Ten Hag’s side got off to the perfect start when Bruno Fernandes put them ahead from the penalty spot on seven minutes after Will Hughes was adjudged to have handled a Marcus Rashford cross.
Manchester United utterly dominated the rest of the first-half and Ten Hag will have been frustrated that they could not score that all-important second goal before the break.
Crystal Palace looked to be growing into the game after half-time, although United did find that elusive second goal just after the hour mark. A superb team move ended with Luke Shaw whipping in a low cross that Marcus Rashford side-footed home from close range for his 10th Premier League goal of the season.
It felt like United would then go on to win comfortably but the game was flipped on its head on 70 minutes when influential midfielder Casemiro was sent off for grabbing Hughes around the throat after a melee had broken out between the two teams.
Jeffrey Schlupp then flicked home from a corner on 76 minutes to set up a nervy finish for the Old Trafford faithful.
However, United would manage to regain their composure and secure their 13th win in a row at Old Trafford.
Without the fans cheering us over the line today, this victory isn’t possible. We appreciate every single one of you! 👉🏾🙎🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/Alb3AJQPBm
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) February 4, 2023
Today’s win sees United move up to third in the table, although speaking afterwards it was the Casemiro red card and the performance of the officials that dominated what Ten Hag had to say.
“When you have 10 after a player is sent off and it is quickly 2-1, you have to hold on for the win.
”The first 70 minutes was all ours, we dominated the game. A big compliment for the team, we played with a lot of energy and really well in possession and defence transition. In the last 20 minutes we showed we can fight and have team spirit.”
“Such things must not happen on the pitch. It starts with a bad foul. He could have injured the player. It is a big risk. It is emotions getting up and both sides, this happens a lot with players pushing each other and also protecting each other.
”Casemiro was protecting the player to go into attack. Obviously he is sent off and we are totally unhappy with that situation. He takes a risk, we all see that. He can’t get away with that. But for me it is the inconsistency.
”At Palace two weeks ago there was an elbow and VAR is not interfering. And in this situation he could have sent off more players. Be consistent and everyone who crosses the line is sent off, not just one player. It is hard when a team-mate can get injured.
”Like last week, we lose Christian Eriksen to a really bad foul. The team stand for each other and you need that to get results and be successful.”
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