VAR Hand Palace Rough Deal In Defeat To United

A significantly better performance by the Eagles against a United side chasing Champions League football but it was not enough to prevent yet another loss as season looks to end with a whimper.


16th July 2020


Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United


Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU


Behind closed doors


REFEREE – Graham Scott

ASSISTANTS – Harry Lennard, Derek Eaton, Keith Stroud (fourth official)

VAR – Simon Hooper, Andy Garratt (assistant)



Bookings – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (35), Harry Maguire (64), Luka Milivojevic (90)


Marcus Rashford (45) , Anthony Martial (78)


WIlfried Zaha


With a much better showing against United than in recent games, the Eagles deserved better from this game than they ended up getting. The disappointment is more the manner of the defeat more than anything and nothing to do with the team selection or tactics. It was more around the decisions that prevented the game from being more competitive until the visitors hit their second goal and effectively ended the contest. Play like this in either of the final two games and their will be more points on the board than not.


Huge decision not to award a penalty to Palace after Victor Lindelof clattered into the back of Wilfried Zaha right before United scored the opener. VAR is an old pals act, they are simply reluctant to overrule their fellow officials instead of using the technology properly so what is the point?

If the rule for VAR not making the decision to award a penalty was because it was not a ‘clear and obvious error’ then it is a much more bitter pill to swallow when what would have been Jordan Ayew’s tenth goal of the season was chalked off for offside by what appeared to be a toenail. A line by the way that had to be drawn a number of time and analysed. Surely that is not a ‘clear and obvious error’ also?


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.

“Very rarely do I make excuses about decisions by officials but a clear penalty not awarded and a disallowed offside goal by millimetres through the use of VAR so obviously affected the final outcome of the game. Bottom line, VAR in its application and interpretation is not working. It is leaving many managers, players and supporters visibly frustrated in too many matches for the authorities not to thoroughly review its use next season.

It has been well documented that Palace’s performances since the restart have been very much like the curate’s egg. Good attitudes, commitment and higher tempo against Bournemouth, Chelsea and this against United were in complete contrast to those seen in the other games. From the first whistle we gave United little time on the ball to create much from open play. A more mobile front three of Ayew, Townsend and Zaha regularly posed problems for United’s defence throughout the whole game. However one of our main issues remain not having a 15+ goal striker to clinically convert any openings created. It was the critical difference.

However, in and out of possession it was a positive performance and like the Chelsea game we deserved more. No criticism to any player, all put a shift in but for being a constant threat and thorn in the side to United throughout my man of the match goes to Wilfried Zaha. From the team and supporters’ perspective it will be important to gain something from either or both remaining games this season before serious thoughts are given to our set up next season. Up the Palace!”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – No chance with either goal, made a couple of good stops elsewhere in the game to prevent a worse scoreline.

2 JOEL WARD (7) – Good performance at right back for a player that everyone thought was pretty much done at this level.

6 SCOTT DANN (6) – Solid in the centre of defence but it was a busy night for the veteran. One fine challenge in the area to dispossess a falling Martial late in the game was pure quality.

12 MAMADOU SAKHO (6) – His movement is akin to something out of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but once again he managed to to the simple things with no brain farts.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – Linked up well once again and was up and down th eleft all evening until what looks like a season ending injury. Replaced by 39 TYRICK MITCHELL (6) on 84 minutes with the youngster get some vital minutes and even managed a Cruyff turn and clearance in his short stint. Is likely to see more minutes with two games left to play and very welcome indeed.

22 JAMES MCCARTHY (7) – Battling game in the middle of the park, solid in the tackle and got stuck into the opposition but faded as the game went on. Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) on 83 minutes for some much needed fresh legs but the game had gone by the time the Dutchman got onto the field.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6 – BOOKED!) – Big question marks once again about his passing ability with some stray ones during the game. Almost put away one of his trademark free kicks but de Gea was a match for the effort.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Always an unsung hero of this Palace side but the guy has just run out of steam this season and will enjoy the break. Replaced by 15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (6) on 72 minutes and a welcome cameo for the former Leicester player after a long lay off.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7 – TEB MAN OF THE MATCH) – Lively and bright all game long. Was a constant threat to his former club and had a great chance in the second half which was well saved.

10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) – First start in a while for the wide-man who put in a busy all round display linking up well going forward and helping defensively.

9 JORDAN AYEW (6) – So unlucky to have his 10th goal of the season taken away from him for pretty much not cutting his toe nails the evening before the game. Fine lines indeed but the Ghanaian striker was a pest all night before running out of energy in the latter stages.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 7 Max Meyer, 8 Cheikhou Kouyate, 34 Martin Kelly, 35 Sam Woods, 40 Brandon Pierrick


1 de Gea, 29 Wan-Bissaka, 2 Lindelof, 5 Maguire, 29 Fosu-Mensah, 39 McTominay, 6 Pogba, 26 Greenwood, 18 Bruno Fernandes, 10 Rashford, 9 Martial

Substitutes – 22 Romero, 3 Bailly, 8 Mata, 14 Lingard (replaced Greenwood on 62 minutes), 17 Fred, 20 Dalot, 21 James, 25 Ighalo, 31 Matic (replaced McTominay on 63 minutes)


ROY HODGSON – not available

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER – not available


The Who Scored man of the match was Marcus Rashford (8.5) while the the most shots were from Bruno Fernandes (6). The most tackles were by James McCarthy (5) while Wilfried Zaha and Mason Greenwood had the most dribbles (4).

  • Team rating: 6.38 – 7.11
  • Total shots: 13 – 17
  • Shots on target: 5 – 5
  • Possession: 41.4% – 58.6%
  • Pass success: 79% – 87%
  • Dribbles: 8 – 11
  • Aerials won: 5 – 15
  • Tackles: 23 – 13
  • Corners: 2 – 6
  • Dispossessed: 7 – 9


Palace are 14th in the Premier League with 42 points from 26 games played, 5 points ahead of Brighton in 15th and a point behind Newcastle in 13th. With 2 games left to play, a top ten finish is no longer a possibility yet the club sit 11 points away from the relegation zone.


20/07/2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers (a – 8.15pm)

26/07/2020 Tottenham Hotspur (h – 4pm)


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