'Bang average': Manchester United undone after Crystal Palace pounce for late winner at Old Trafford
Manchester United suffered defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday as a late error from David De Gea allowed Patrick Van Aanholt to score in injury time, moments after Daniel James looked to have rescued a point for the Red Devils.
While we're a long way from forecasting a return to the doom and gloom which characterized the final weeks of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's first campaign, the manner of the performance in the August sunshine at Old Trafford will no doubt incite at least moderate concern among the United faithful.
A late goal by Dutch fullback Van Aanholt, squeezed in at David De Gea's once impenetrable near post, claimed three points for Roy Hodgson's men in what was their first ever Premier League win against Manchester United.
Minutes before Van Aanholt's crucial imprint on the game, Welsh winger Daniel James looked to have rescued a point for United with a sublime, curled effort into the top corner in the dying minutes of the game to cancel out Jordan Ayew's effort which gave the Londoners a first-half advantage.
Not sure it’s ever a good idea for clubs to attempt ‘bants’. https://t.co/X3bM9TYEwn— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 24, 2019
The goal, James' second since joining from Swansea in the summer, was delicately placed into the top corner in the Stretford End and looked every inch like the work of another Welshman who paraded down the flanks at Old Trafford over the years.
Incredibly, United's woes from the spot continued as Marcus Rashford – re-issued with penalty duties in the wake of Paul Pogba's miss against Wolves – struck the inside of the post midway through the second half. Alarmingly, there were reports of racial abuse targeted at Rashford on social media in the immediate wake of the miss.
Man United's biggest issue is that's what they are. A bang average team with no solutions.Two things that should be tried. Get Fred back in ASAP and just stick with him over McTominay. Give Garner, Greenwood and Gomes games. This season is not going to be good. Work for future— True Balls ⚽️ Podcast (@TrueBallsPod) August 24, 2019
De Gea errors no longer a rarity. Consistently makes mistakes he wouldn’t have made 2-3 seasons ago.Clear decline.— EiF (@EiFSoccer) August 24, 2019
As much as United pressed forward in the second half, they couldn't conjure the final pass to break down a robust Crystal Palace rearguard, and their own defensive frailties, supposedly reinforced with the addition of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (who played against his former club), proved their undoing, particularly with David De Gea no longer being the impenetrable barrier of old.Also on rt.com Anti-social media: Twitter to meet Manchester United and Kick It Out amid storm over racist tweets
Elsewhere in Saturday's English Premier League action, Frank Lampard secured his first victory from the Chelsea dugout as his side defeated Norwich City 3-2 with goals coming from academy graduates Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham (2).
Southampton won away in Brighton by two goals to nil, while there were also away wins for Leicester at Sheffield United and for West Ham at Watford.