Manchester United u21s were hosted by Crystal Palace for a lunch time kick off on Monday after the match was brought forward six hours. The tie offered the chance for United to leapfrog three places in the table into third place above Crystal Palace with a victory.
The opening stages of the match saw Crystal Palace look the more threatening with their pacey attack which cause a number of sloppy turnovers from the United defenders.
After a largely uneventful opening half hour to the match, Mateo Mejia controlled Brandon Williams’ long ball in the box on his chest and felt a tug on his arm to bring him down, but the ref waved off his protestations.
In the 33rd minute, United’s real first string of possession ended with a long range shot from Omari Forson that was blocked out for a corner.
A minute later, a free kick at the edge of the box allowed Tom Huddlestone to get the first shot on target but it was straight down the keeper’s throat for an easy catch.
A late chance came from a giveaway from Palace’s keeper, Owen Goodman, which gifted a big opening for United but Forson squandered the chance with a scuffed effort instead of passing to the open Noam Emeran in a better position.
Three minutes into the second half, Palace’s number nine, Ademola Ola-Adebomi, was played into the box and took a shot on first time that was tipped onto the post by Radek Vitek.
Shortly after, United threatened with a flurry of shots from the edge of the box from Charlie Wellens, Zidane Iqbal and finally Huddlestone on the half volley, sending it over the bar.
Williams made a charge infield before being taken down 25 yards from goal but the resulting free-kick was sent over the bar by Wellens.
In the 64th minute, Joe Hugill won possession high up in the corner before laying off to Isak Hansen-Aaroen to strike from the edge of the box, sending it whistling past the far right top corner.
Kobbie Mainoo came alive in the final twenty minutes with a 1-2 pass with Mejia to drive through midfield and into the box but dragged his shot narrowly wide.
Mainoo and Mejia linked again as the midfielder played Mejia down the right side of box and followed in for the cut back but he couldn’t keep his shot down as it sailed over the bar.
With ten minutes remaining, some great passing from Palace worked their way onto the box on the right, leaving a number of United defenders on the ground but a great recovery from Wellens made the block to deny a huge chance.
In the dying seconds Emeran broke through into the box between three defenders to get onto Mainoo’s flick on pass and went down but nothing given from the ref.
Seconds later from the resulting corner, the ball was played short to Iqbal in the box who went down too easily for another penalty shout but the ref wasn’t having it and brandished the yellow card for a dive.
The whistle came shortly after to mark the end of a drab 0-0 affair.
United: Vitek, Wellens, Huddlestone, Hardley (Aljofree 46), Williams, Iqbal, Mainoo, Mejia, Forson (Hansen-Aaroen 46), Emeran, Hugill
Unused subs: Mee, Murray, Jurado