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Manchester United 0-0 Crystal Palace: What Happened During The Eagles Game

Crystal Palace

United went up against Crystal Palace, 15th in the Premier League rankings, this weekend at the Old Trafford and it was expected to be an easy outing for the Red Devils, an opportunity for Jose Mourinho to regain some lost favor with the fans after the disappointing performance against Manchester City.

Earlier, watching Manchester United play every weekend used to be a treat. There was a real magic in the way United played their matches. Fans would get behind the team and realize that the team has laid down everything on the pitch.

However, after viewing United matches in recent past has become more of a weekend chore than something to look forward to, the team has been consistently losing to every single opponent and not putting up a real fight before any of the teams.

The United team had all their stars fit and fine to play. There wasn’t any player missing out due to injury or due to technicalities, except for Luke Shaw, who wasn’t permitted to be fielded for picking up five yellow cards already this season against Crystal Palace.

That the match was a snooze fest will be an understatement. The first 30 minutes of the match had United leading play in possession against the Crystal Palace side, yet did not come any close to scoring a goal or taking a shot on target. The ingredient missing was the magic, the drive to score goals.

Neither the players showed any passion on the field nor the manager had some off it. They were asleep there. Sleeping giants, what would be the impetus that will finally wake them up, if they at all wake up in the near future?

The right wing of United was an empty field during the Crystal Palace game, where nothing ever happened. United’s attack were unilaterally directed down the left flank with either Young or Matic turning the ball towards Marital or Lingard.

The one time when Young succeeded in changing the direction of the ball towards the right wing, Paul Pogba managed to spectacularly take the ball out of play. How a player of his stature lacks the basic ball control technique is beyond me.

Pogba missed the fixture against City, arguably the most important game for a United player and the one, which the fans will remember for as long as they live. As the French midfielder wasn’t there to shoulder the responsibility of the team, one would think that it would make him want to show the fans some respect by winning the succeeding game. But, like manager, like star player.

That United needs someone to plug the leaks in their defense is an open secret and it was quite visible to everyone watching the Crystal Palace match that it needs to be done asap. It was so bad that Townsend was able to beat three players and almost get the better of De Gea.

Crystal Palace players Wilfred Zaha and Max Meyer rather managed to get headway up-field with ease. If it weren’t for the technicality, Crystal Palace could have ended the first half and the match, the way it went, one goal up, creating history.

If only Mr. Woodward and the Glazer family could actually start caring about the football club, its history, its fans and give the manager a fat budget for getting world class defenders, then maybe the story wouldn’t be the same every weekend.

Upfront, led by the player who set the stage ablaze last season with his goals but finds it hard to even create a spark this season is Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian was a complete ghost during the Manchester United Vs Crystal Palace fixture.

The manager’s reason for starting him as the striker against Marcus Rashford should be interesting. Lukaku even managed to give the ball away in the last minutes of the game to Crystal Palace, however, it was their incompetence that they couldn’t translate that into a goal.

A football team is only as good as the sum of its players and if the squad unity is good, it doesn’t matter how bad the odds, the team as a whole will surmount it. Sounds like a cheesy line from a sports movie but that’s the truth of football games and United lacks the required team cohesion.

The players on the Crystal Palace side read the signals of United players far better than their teammates did. Sanchez’s run down the middle and a pass to Anthony Martial on the right was misread by Martial.

These guys spend every minute awake playing with each other and yet, they fail to judge where their team-mate will park the ball. A long distance shot from Marcus Rashford that had the power and spin was placed far away from Martial, who could have taken a shot if the keeper couldn’t bring it under control.

Special mention should be made about Fred, the Brazilian transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk for €52 Million, a very expensive bench warmer.

Nonetheless, Rashford was the star of the Crystal Palace match, showing more initiative than any of his teammates and trying to score goals. The forward was helped, in parts, by the team Captain Ashley Young, who managed to keep the ball up in the Palace half of the field.

The magic was missing from Marital, who has been having the best run of his career till now. But, his form was lacking in this Premier League match. It was frustrating to see pass after pass from Ashley Young being intercepted by the Crystal palace defense.

The reason to remove Juan Mata, who unequivocally creates problems for the opposition in midfield, in favor of Marouane Fellaini, who just managed to get away from a booking in the Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace for his egregious take-down on Luka Milivojevic, confounds the average fan.

The Red Devils team take on the Swiss team Young Boys on Tuesday in their Champions League Group H clash. Hopefully, boss Jose Mourinho can get his team in order by then.

Follow Arsedevils for more news and updates on Manchester United.

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Akhil Vasudev
A fervent fan of Manchester United, Akhil began writing to fill time in between Harry Potter releases and quickly realized that he could present compelling arguments which led to him writing opinion pieces about his favorite team. When not berating the managers' tactics, Akhil spends his time listening to power metal and working on his Novel.

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