Setting The SceneThe Red Devils arrived into this match after a comfortable 4-1 win at CSKA Moscow on Wednesday and looked nothing as lethargic during the match against Crystal Palace. Jose Mourinho made five changes to the starting XI that won at CSKA. Jones, Fellaini and Valencia all started for United after missing out on Wednesday’s clash. Rashford started instead of Martial and Mata was also in the starting XI for United. Juan Mata started the party for the Reds just three minutes into the match. Marouane Fellaini put the ball into the back of the net twice to establish authority for United. Romelu Lukaku scored his 11th goal of the season for Manchester United as United cruised to a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford.
First HalfManchester United would have been forgiven if they made a sluggish start to the match after going into this match with only one day of rest. But Juan Mata had other plans. Three minutes into the match, the Spanish play-maker sent United on their way from a cross from Marcus Rashford. The young prodigy turned Joel Ward inside out with some trickery before handing the ball to Mata to drive home. After scoring the first goal, United seemed to blemish the moods of United fans as Crystal palace won a flurry of corners. Roy Hodgson’s side seemed to spoil the party for United with a powerful effort from Bacary Sako to test De Gea for the first time in the match, only for the Spaniard to palm it away. The Red Devils soon replied with another goal just after the half-hour mark with a volley from Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini latched onto Ashley Young’s pin-point cross and netted the second goal for United at the back post.
Second HalfEarly into the second half, United sealed the match with a dangerous free-kick from Marcus Rashford which was redirected into Palace’s goal by Marouane Fellaini with a poking header. Soon after, Ashley Young tried his luck from 20 yards but was not enough. Meanwhile, on the other end, Sako miscued a header before shooting wide from 25 yards to score Palace’s first goal for the season. Romelu Lukaku almost netted his 11th goal but his shot went wide from 15 yards. Moments later, Lukaku was not to be denied as he scored from a pass by Anthony Martial.
ConclusionThe scoreline read 4-0 after full time as United temporarily went ahead of Manchester City after beating Crystal Palace. Manchester United are joint league leaders alongside Manchester City after City’s win against Chelsea with 19 points. Manchester United equalled a number of records in this fixture against Crystal Palace. The Reds matched their record of 19 points after the opening seven Premier League games set in 1999 and again in 2011. Romelu Lukaku matched Andrew Cole’s record of seven goals in as many matches since the start of the Premier League this season. The Reds also equalled the clean sheet record of six clean sheets in the first seven Premier League matches for the first time since 1997/98 season.
Mourinho’s CommentsJose Mourinho looked quite happy after the match, the way his team controlled the game. Mourinho spoke in his post-match press conference:
“We are happy, we played solid, we played strong from the beginning, we were in good control.” “I need good players and good people. I need players with maturity. With the concept of ‘team’. I know the new players are more individuals as the society makes them this way. Valencia, Mata, Matic and others, it’s great to have these players.” “I am happy we start the season very strong, respecting the opponents but not giving them the chance to be stable in the game, so I am very happy with the points.”