Manchester United 1 – 2 Crystal Palace: Eagles Produce First League Win At Old Trafford For 30 Years

In an incredible response to the debacle in Sheffield last weekend, the players responded with the first league win for Palace at Old Trafford since 1989. It was a result that was well and truly earned by a group that had plenty to prove to the fans.


24th August 2019


Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester M16 0RA




Paul Tierney was the man in the middle assisted by Eddie Smart and Adrian Holmes. The fourth official was Mike Dean while Craig Pawson took on the VAR role assisted by Dan Robathan.


Luka Milivojevic (38), Gary Cahill (41), Aaron Wan Bissaka (46), Daniel James (71), Wilfried Zaha (79), Vicente Guaita (86)


Jordan Ayew (32), Daniel James (89), Patrick van Aanholt (90)


Jordan Ayew as voted for in our online Twitter poll.


After the abject performance of the previous weekend, Palace did what Palace do by returning from Old Trafford with an incredible three points. This was a very special result from a side that were given no chance against a United side that had already brushed aside Chelsea on opening day. Yes, there was plenty of luck involved but you make your own luck in this game and the top six sides certainly get their fair share of that. Roy Hodgson deserves as much credit as the players for ringing the changes and organising the tactics that frustrated the hosts enough to give the Eagles enough opportunities to score. To be honest, we are still pinching ourselves here but we are going to enjoy this one for a while to come.


A couple of occasions VAR was called into play and both for penalty claims for United which were turned down.


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“It was a definite ‘I was there’ moment at Old Trafford. Roy had the team selection, substitutions and a basic 4-5-1 tactical set up spot on. We may have rode our luck at times but the contrast with last week’s insipid performance could not have been more extreme. Our defending from back to front was full of energy, commitment and as important team discipline.

We frustrated United especially during the second half by breaking up the rhythm of the game through various means. Game management executed to perfection. The cherry on the icing on the cake was scoring the winner in ‘Fergie’ time. Another classic Hodgson team performance but special mentions in dispatches for Cahill who organised our back line superbly, Ayew for his goal and leadership of the frontline and PVA for probably his best game in a while.

Finally, our supporters were fantastic. We all sang our hearts out in the typical Palace way for the full duration…. loud and proud.”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6 – BOOKED!) – Amazingly, the Spanish shot-stopper had very little to do, well protected by the back line in front of him.

2 JOEL WARD (7) – Part of a solid back line, played his part in what was a lengthy rear-guard action. Caught out a couple of times but well supported by his fellow defenders.

34 MARTIN KELLY (6) – First game alongside Cahill in the heart of the defence and they worked well together. Lucky not to have given away two penalties but VAR was on his side.

24 GARY CAHILL (7 – BOOKED!) – Lucky with a challenge that saw him booked but commanded the back line in an impressive debut for the club. Made a real difference.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7 – GOAL!) – Best game in a Palace shirt for some time, proved hard to beat and scored that all important winner.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6 – BOOKED!) – Not his usual assertive self which perhaps had something to do with his first half booking but still did a job.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (7) – First start of the season for the big man and he did just what he was asked to do in a midfield line up that was set up to frustrate the hosts. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) on 83 minutes who slotted in and did what he needed to until the final whistle.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6) – Another who put in a hard working shift for the team, just as we have come to expect from the Scotsman

15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7 – ASSIST!) – Excellent assist for the opening goal and an energetic showing throughout on his first start of the new season. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) on 80 minutes who came off the bench to provide some much needed fresh legs and support down the right.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7 – ASSIST! BOOKED!) – Took a while to get into the game but when he did he gave his former side plenty to think about. He continued to torment both full backs and will have enjoyed playing his part in the winning goal.

9 JORDAN AYEW (8 – GOAL!) – Played the lone striker role perfectly after harshly being dropped to the bench last weekend. Held the ball up well, hassled the oppsition and had plenty of good touches. Took his chance very well. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6) on 75 minutes and played his part in the winning goal with a tackle to win the ball back in the midfield.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 6 Scott Dann, 7 Max Meyer, 21 Connor Wickham


1 De Gea, 29 Wan Bissaka, 2 Lindelof, 5 Maguire, 23 Shaw (18 Young 34), 6 Pogba, 39 McTominay (8 Mata 85), 21 James, 14 Lingard (26 Greenwood 56), 10 Rashford, 9 Martial

Substitutes; 22 Romero, 15 Pereira, 31 Matic, 38 Tuanzebe


ROY HODGSON“It was hard work and the players showed incredible concentration on the tactics they were trying to employ. We kept United in front of us for very long periods. It was a long, hot afternoon and we had to accept our talented opponents would have more of the ball than us. We had to make certain that they did not play the passes to get the balls into the areas where they would punish us too severely. It was a heroic victory.”

“United are not stupid, they have a very experienced group of people looking after them and they will be aware of that. They will be surprised if teams are going to be coming here playing gung-ho football and flying at them and giving them the chance to counter-attack, because they have such pace and skill on the ball that would be a recipe for disaster for most teams.

“They have to come to terms with the fact that teams in the lower half of the league, if they are organised and disciplined and if they put up the fight like we did today they will be hard to breakdown. And if they are lucky with players on the field that can hurt them on the counter-attack, that is what they have to prepare for at Old Trafford for a long part of the season.”

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER“At that pace, a touch or a nudge will be enough for Daniel James to fall. I am 100% sure there is contact between him and the defender. If you look at the video, there is contact and in the Wolves game. He has been unlucky. Neither yellow card should have stood.

“With Martial, it was a clear and obvious penalty. It is nailed on. I don’t think the referee has had his best game. I am surprised that VAR did not change the decision, Martial will not slip if he does not have a 100-kilo defender on his shoulder.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Patrick van Aanholt (7.7) while the most shots were made by Daniel James, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford (4). The most tackles were made by Cheikhou Kouyate (5) as Wilfried Zaha (6) had the most dribbles

  • Team rating: 6.50 – 6.76
  • Total shots: 22 – 5
  • Shots on target: 3 – 3
  • Possession: 71.4% – 28.6%
  • Pass success: 86% – 62%
  • Dribbles: 7 – 9
  • Aerials won: 22 – 14
  • Tackles: 7 – 25
  • Corners: 8 – 1
  • Dispossessed: 16 – 4


Palace have four points from the opening three games of the season which is what we would have probably taken looking at the fixtures, but not in the way we have got them. At the time of writing, the Eagles it in 10th place, behind Sheffield United in 9th and ahead of Everton in 11th.


27/08/2019 Colchester United (h)

31/08/2019 Aston Villa (h)

14/09/2019 Tottenham Hotspur (a)


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