Manchester United rarely threatened at Selhurst Park
Manchester United’s already slim hopes for the Premier League title were dashed when they drew a goalless draw in a dreary encounter at Crystal Palace.
The visitors dominated possession but struggled to create many significant chances. Nemanja Matic came closest in the first half when he neatly saved Vicente Guaita.
Palace didn’t manage to score until the beginning of the second half when Jordan Ayew shot straight at goalkeeper Dean Henderson after a good one-two with Christian Benteke.
But the hosts almost pinched it in the end when Patrick van Aanholt came in, but Henderson denied him.
The draw means Manchester United are 14 points behind leaders and local rivals Manchester City before the two teams meet on Sunday.
The point for Crystal Palace put them to 34 points, 11 points clear of the relegation zone as Roy Hodgson’s side edge was closer to securing another season of Premier League football.
A bad result before the crucial time for Red Devils
Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he’s concerned about his side’s missing goals
This is the start of a potentially season-defining month for Manchester United. After facing their city rivals on Sunday, they have games against AC Milan in the Europa League as well as an FA Cup quarter-finals in Leicester.
So it was important that they got off to a strong start in March. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have only lost once in the Premier League since November 1, but too many of their last games have ended in a draw.
This was a match they really had to win to keep the pressure on Manchester City but they were far from their best as they showed a severe lack of creativity.
Even Bruno Fernandes, whose attacking spark has contributed so many times to 25 goals this season, was below average as he tried to influence Wednesday’s game.
Indeed, for long periods of this encounter, the most exciting development was the increasing thickness of fog that had descended over Selhurst Park as Manchester United played their third goalless draw in a row.
The lack of an offensive threat is sure to make Solskjaer increasingly worried at a crucial stage in their season.
Palace picks out an important point
It is well documented that without Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace struggled to pose a major attack threat, and they had only managed six attempts to score in the last two games before Wednesday.
Despite their lack of bite, they are well organized and difficult to break under Hodgson. They rarely saw any threat of losing to United.
The Eagles successfully removed every threat the visitors could pose and while the odds on themselves were slim, with Van Aanholt’s belated opportunity they came closest to all three.
Despite Zaha’s absence, Palace have scored five points in their last three games. They are well on their way to midfield to avoid later concerns about being drawn into a relegation battle.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson prides itself on the point against Manchester United.
Goalless again – the statistics
- This was Manchester United’s sixth goalless Premier League draw of the season, which was the most common one-season draw alongside 2004-05 and 2016-17.
- Crystal Palace have drawn 0-0 two consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2017.
- United drew three games in a row with a 0-0 draw under Louis van Gaal for the first time since October 2015. The third game of the game was a goalless draw at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.
- Manchester United are England’s fifth top team to remain undefeated in their first 14 away games of a season, after Leeds United 1973-74, Liverpool 1987-88 and Arsenal 2001-02 and 2003-04.
- This was United’s attack on midfielder Fernandes ’21. Away game in the Premier League – and he has to lose one more thing. Only Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus (26) and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann (23) have had long unbeaten away starts in the competition.
- Crystal Palace had more shots (eight) on Wednesday than in the last two league games combined (six).
Crystal Palace travels to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (19:15 GMT), while Manchester United are earlier in Manchester City on the same day (16:30).
Player of the game
- 3van Aanholt
- 22ndMcCarthyReplaced byRiedewaldat the 62 ‘protocolBooked at 90 minutes
- 25thEzeReplaced byUnderpantsat the 84 ‘protocol
- 9J Ayew
- 17thFredReplaced byMcTominayat the 74 ‘protocol
- 18thBruno Fernandes
- 7thCavaniReplaced byJamesat the 76 ‘protocol
- 38Let us begin
End of the game, Crystal Palace 0, Manchester United 0.
The second half ends, Crystal Palace 0, Manchester United 0.
Jairo Riedewald (Kristallpalast) receives the yellow card for a bad foul.
Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jairo Riedewald (Kristallpalast).
Offside, Manchester United. Luke Shaw tries a pass, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the center of the box by the goalkeeper. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic.
Missed attempt. Luke Shaw (Manchester United) right footed shot from the center of the box is high and far to the right. Assisted by Bruno Fernandes with a head pass.
Corner, Manchester United. The corner was caused by Joel Ward.
Substitution, crystal palace. Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Eberechi Eze.
Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).
Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Missed attempt. The left-footed shot by Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) from outside the box is a bit too high. Prepared by Bruno Fernandes.
Corner, Manchester United. The corner was caused by Patrick van Aanholt.
Missed attempt. Daniel James (Manchester United) header from the center of the box misses the goal on the right. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.
Eric Bailly (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace).
Substitution, Manchester United. Daniel James replaces Edinson Cavani.
Substitution, Manchester United. Scott McTominay replaces Fred.
Offside, Manchester United. Harry Maguire tries a pass, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.