Manchester United travelled to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace. But to their disappointment, they failed to break the deadlock and the game ended in a sleepy 0-0 draw. Dean Henderson was handed a start between the sticks as David De Gea was forced to miss the game due to a ‘personal reason’. Anthony Martial and Donny Van De Beek didn’t make the matchday squad due to their injury knocks.
Crystal Palace was without their talisman Wilfried Zaha but on the positive side, he has returned to the team’s training sessions. Roy Hodgson started with Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew upfront with Kouyate filling in as a centre-back. Here are the five talking points from the game.
Dull and Boring:
We have seen Manchester United drawing a lot of games this season but this has to be the dullest affair. We bet that many of the viewers would have fallen asleep as well! Both of the teams failed to ignite any kind of spark. The onus was on the visitors to close the gap between the first and the second.
But, the sloppy attack of Man United failed to find the back of the net. Edinson Cavani got a half-chance from a corner in the first 45 minutes but miss the target completely. The best chance of the first half fell to Marcus Rashford.
Luke Shaw cut the ball inside from the left. Rashford controlled the ball with a beautiful first touch. He had ample amount of time to find the net as well but hit his shot just wide of the post.
Complete dependence on Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha has missed five games for Crystal Palace and the Eagles have failed to score a goal in four of these games. It’s very evident how large the whole team is dependent on Zaha. Roy Hodgson and the board need to solve this issue in the upcoming summer window if they want to climb above the league table next season.
Dean Henderson’s time to shine at Manchester United
Henderson didn’t have much to do in the game but made a splendid save in the dying minutes of the game. Van Anholt successfully found space behind Wan Bisaaka and went on to run towards Dean Henderson. The young goalkeeper dropped down and to push the ball wide. Even Solskjaer was thankful to him for earning a point for his team. No time limits have been given for David De Gea’s return thus Dean Henderson will have a glorious opportunity to shine in Manchester Derby at the weekend.
Will Manchester United keep their place in the top four?
You might find the heading absurd but we cannot stop ourselves from asking this question. Yes, Manchester United has been at the top two spots for a few weeks but they have failed to take a large number of points since January. They have just one victory in the last five Premier League games.
All the other four games have ended in a draw. This has forced them to be 14 points behind Manchester City who already have their one hand on the Premier League trophy. The Red Devils are just 6 points ahead of fourth-placed West Ham.
Things can very quickly change in this season, as we have seen already. Rather than looking at Manchester City, it is time for Solskjaer and his men to save the important second spot on the league table.
THE 12TH MAN Opinion
Manchester United have been blamed to have a mentality where they themselves feel that they are not good enough to be the champions. This stat certainly proves that they have failed to handle pressure and mount a serious title challenge.
Rashford was sloppy all night. Yet, Solskjaer trusted his main man to deliver. But why not pull one defensive midfield or a defender out and float in a talented youngster like Amad Diallo?