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Post Match Analysis : Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer

Manchester United kicked off their Premier League season against Crystal Palace but ended in a humiliating 3-1 defeat. New signing Donny van de Beek scored United’s only goal. Ex-United player Wilfried Zaha captained Palace’s side and managed to score 2 goals while Townsend scored the other. Palace beat United at Old Trafford last season and continued to do so this time around as well. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expressed his disappointment and that the performance is no good against any team in the Premier League in the post match interview. He is certainly let down by the board in failing to deliver the players he wanted and the result speaks for it. Here is our post match analysis of the game –

Dreadful Defending

Both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof had a shocking game in defence. Lindelof was directly and indirectly involved in all of the 3 goals conceded. Firstly he could have stopped the cross from coming in, secondly a hand ball to give away a penalty and thirdly he was humiliated by Zaha to score their final goal. Maguire was slow in reacting to some of the opposition attacks and misplaced many passes losing possession of the ball. Fosu-Mensah performed better than the other defenders. Greenwood missed an easy header from Mensah’s cross. Shaw was dreadful as well, losing possession many times. Crystal Palace looked like scoring everytime they broke through and created many problems for the defence. From the looks of it, a centre back looks a priority for United if they are to have a chance to finish in the top 4.

Maguire and Lindelof
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof

Poor performance from Pogba and Bruno

Bruno Fernandes has been our best player since his arrival quite clearly. Today, both he and Pogba struggled to break through Palace’s injury ridden defence. At times, Pogba struggled to complete even basic midfield passes and lost possession far too many times. Bruno was wasteful too. Everybody expected especially Bruno to put in a show against Palace that didn’t have their main defence in play due to injury but struggled to do so. United managed only 4 shots on target. Both Bruno and Pogba registered a passing accuracy of 76%. Donny van de Beek came on for Pogba in the 67th minute and scored the only goal for United due to an error by the Palace’s defence on failing to clear the ball. It shows that if Bruno and Pogba don’t perform well United fail to break through against low block opponents.

Ole needs to stop playing Dan James in RW role

Manchester United had nothing going through the right hand side of the attack in the first half. Dan James appeared to be invisible and had little to no role in any offensive move for United. At times it appeared United avoided passing it to the right side due to wastefulness of James. James is naturally a left winger and fans wonder why Ole picked him for the right wing role when Greenwood was available on the bench. If this isn’t the end of James playing in the RW role then I’d be quite shocked to be honest. Ole needs to sign a proper right winger and more now than ever. United fans are desperately crying out for Sancho to sign.

dan james
Dan James

Rashford looks lost

Rashford was flying the previous season and fans expected a more matured and better Rashford this season but only to their disappointment. Although its only the first game of the season but he looks lost. Things are not going in his way since the restart of football but people expected him to start the new season brightly. He doesn’t look confident taking defenders 1 v 1 anymore and loses the ball in important areas. Rashford completed only 2 successful dribbles against a weakened Palace defence. He failed to contribute any major attempts on goal and hardly gave the Palace’s right back any trouble. Things are surely not going well for him and we fans can only hope for him to bounce back in the next match against Brighton in the Premier League.


Manchester United finished 3rd in the PL last season but fans might have to lower their expectations for this season with the way the transfer window has gone for them. United signed only one player – Donny van de Beek and failed to sign their priority targets – Jadon Sancho, a left back and a centre back as of now. Regardless this was an easy straightforward game to win with Palace missing their key defenders to injury. The midfield looked shaky and lost possession on numerous occassions. The defence was horrible. The attack, not so good either managing only 4 attempts on target. The team looked tired and lacking the connection between the attackers and midfielders as shown at the back end of last season.

Having said that, its only the first game of the season and hopefully United will bounce back from it. 3 crucial points lost. We must look ahead and demand the board to make new signings. Totally dissapointing performance but we keep going. GGMU!

Where do you think we will finish in the Premier League? Do you think the board will sign any players considering today’s result? Let us know in the comments below.

Also Read : Player ratings: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

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