Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace: Five talking points

Manchester United transfer

Juan Mata

Manchester United managed a narrow 1-0 win over Crystal Palace as substitute Juan Mata’s second half goal helped Louis van Gaal’s side three crucial points.

Soccerlens brings you Five Talking Points from the clash between the 20-times English champions and the Eagles.

1. It was not United’s best performance

Despite a victory, the hosts lacked much needed flair in their play and were not clinical in the final third throughout the first half. Apart from a solo run from left-back Luke Shaw’s brilliant effort, United really failed to create any sort of impact.

United dominated possession throughout the match and there were passing the ball brilliantly within their half.

2. United kept their first clean sheet in last seven Premier League games

Some credit needs to be given to David De Gea as he kept his first clean sheet in the last league matches.  With two out of three make shift defenders (Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind) the remaining two just in their teens (Paddy McNair and Luke Shaw), maintaining a clean sheet is something that is likely to make Van Gaal happy.

3. Van Gaal was bold enough to change his back four in the later stages of the match

United started with Valencia, McNair, Blind and Shaw as their back four. However, the Dutchman changed his tactics and deployed the former Ajax skipper in the midfield position and swapped him with Carrick, who moved to the heart of the defence.

In addition to this, in the dying moments of the match, Van Gaal replaced McNair and introduced Darren Fletcher. This saw Blind move back in the centre-back position alongside Carrick. United used three different centre-back pair throughout the match, something that is very rarely seen in the Premier League unless there is injuries or sending off.

4. Shaw is one for the future

The former Southampton left-back failed to feature regularly as injuries stopped him from making his first team debut. However, since returning to full fitness, Shaw has been one of the standout players for United this season.

The England international showed what he is capable of and was very impressive in both defending and going forward during the attack.

5. Palace were punished for not taking a golden opportunity

As United were struggling to break Neil Warnock side’s defence in the first half, a confusion between McNair and Blind gave the visitors a golden opportunity to take the lead. Palace striker Frazer Campbell was one-on-one with United keeper and tried to chip the ball, which goes behind the net.

That was the best chance Palace had to score at Old Trafford and should that have been converted, there would have been more pressure on United to bounce back in the second half. Lucky enough for Van Gaal and the Red Devils, their former player missed out on scoring a crucial goal.

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  1. Evans 8 November, 2014
  2. slim 8 November, 2014
    • zidanemar 8 November, 2014