Home ยป Three things we learned from Manchester United’s gritty 2-1 win against Crystal Palace

Three things we learned from Manchester United’s gritty 2-1 win against Crystal Palace

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United hosted Crystal Palace at OId Trafford, with Erik ten Hag keen on revenging the first-leg draw at Selhurst Park a few weeks ago.

The United boss started David de Gea in place of Tom Heaton who was in goal against Nottingham Forest.

He retained the same midfield he deployed against Forest and made only one change in the forward line – Marcus Rashford came in ahead of Alejandro Garnacho.

Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Crystal Palace.

Bruno Fernandes is getting back to his best self

Bruno Fernandes is rediscovering himself again at Old Trafford after months of decline from the marauding and lethal attacking midfielder who arrived at the Theatre of Dreams.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival coincided with a dramatic drop in Fernandes’ attacking output, especially with regard to goals and assists.

Fernandes is now regularly notching up assists and getting on the score sheet, not only in the Premier League but also in cup competitions.

Against Palace, the 28-year-old broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when he converted a penalty from the spot with his famous hop, skip and jump routine.

Beyond the goal, Fernandes was the team’s primary source of creativity and penetration into Palace territory.

The Portugal international is thriving and seems to be relishing being the main man again. For United fans, this is thrilling as we all know the impact a firing Bruno Fernandes can make on the team.

Excellent in-game management from Ten Hag

Before the second goal, Palace got a little foothold on the game as the London club pushed for an equalizer.

Ten Hag’s changes however snuffed out their advances and saw the Red Devils net a second goal through Rashford.

The United boss took off Wout Weghorst who was struggling and replaced him with Alejandro Garnacho.

Garnacho’s introduction pushed Rashford to the striker role and the Englishman instantly grabbed a goal.

Garnacho did well to find Shaw inside the box. The left-back put in a scintillating cross that Rashford was all too happy to get on the end of.

In the dying minutes of the match while the team was struggling Ten Hag brought on Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof to help shore up the back and keep Palace out.

Lisandro Martinez the rock at the back

The Eagles handed United a number of scares, most of them coming after Casemiro’s sending-off.

Patrick Vieira’s men, with the numerical advantage, pegged United back and it required some heroic tackles, blocks and interceptions from Lisandro Martinez to guarantee all three points.

The Argentine was called into action on a number of occasions and he rose to the task every time.

He came out on top in his duels and challenges, which helped the team clinch all three points.

In a period of jittery moments where United could have easily dropped points again, Martinez’s contributions were invaluable in helping the side withstand pressure.

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