Manchester United were denied a 10th consecutive win in all competitions by a stunning late Michael Olise free-kick as Crystal Palace snatched a point in the Premier League at Selhurst Park. Bruno Fernandes had given Erik ten Hag’s team a first half lead but they couldn’t see it out.
United established early dominance and there was a nervy moment for Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita when he spilled an early cross with debutant Wout Weghorst hunting for scraps. Luke Shaw soon also threatened with a cleanly struck half volley that only narrowly missed the far post.
Even with less of the ball, Patrick Vieira will have been generally pleased with how his side went about things in the opening quarter of the game, although a moment of hesitation between Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell gave Antony enough of a sniff of goal to try and chip one over Guaita.
Marcus Rashford lined up a free-kick in the closing stages of the first half but will have been disappointed to see it not really threaten the goal as it missed to the left.
Palace actually went very close to breaking the deadlock right before United did when Odsonne Edouard rifled a shot from 20 yards that looked destined for the top corner. But David de Gea threw up a hand and tipped it onto the crossbar and over.
The United opener was far too easy from a Palace perspective. Christian Eriksen wasn’t tracked as he burst forward and it was a simple square ball from the Dane to Fernandes in space to finish from the middle of the penalty area.
The visitors remained in control after the break, taking the sting out of the game, and thought they should have had a penalty as the second half minutes ticked by when substitute Scott McTominay went tumbling as Chris Richards lunged in. Nothing was given in real time, while a VAR check ruled there wasn’t enough of an error even though Richard didn’t appear to win the ball.
The slender lead was shown to be precarious with only 15 minutes to go when Guehi powered a header at goal that De Gea was equal to with a strong hand. Palace had struggled to create much all night so it was perhaps to be expected that a set-piece would be their route back in.
It seemed too ambitious when Olise lined up a late free-kick to the right of the penalty area. But he thwacked a curling left-footed effort off the underside of the bar, with De Gea finally beaten.
The final few minutes saw a late flurry as both had opportunities to win it in stoppage time, with Casemiro unable to adjust his body in time as the ball flashed across the six-yard box and Alejandro Garnacho stinging the palms of Guaita. At the other end, Aaron Wan-Bissaka stretched every sinew with an inch-perfect slide tackle to stop Wilfried Zaha getting in at goal.
GK: Vicente Guaita – 5/10 – Had an early nervy moment but wasn’t actually that busy considering how much posession his team ceded to United.
RB: Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10 – Had a much better night against Rashford than most right-backs have managed in the last month.
CB: Chris Richards – 6/10 – Standing in for Joachim Andersen for his full Premier League debut. Perhaps fortunate not to give away a penalty but otherwise competed well.
CB: Marc Guehi – 6/10 – Had more than one shaky moment, either through hesitation or sloppiness. Forced a top save from De Gea in the second half.
LB: Tyrick Mitchell – 7/10 – Showed good energy up and down the flank to try and support in attack.
CM: Cheick Doucoure – 6/10 – Switched off and didn’t track the run of Eriksen when United score late in the first half. Disappointing because he had done well otherwise.
CM: Will Hughes – 6/10 – Didn’t keep the ball particularly well, which hurt Palace in an attacking sense. Disciplined and tenacious off the ball.
RM: Michael Olise – 7/10 – Looked the most lively source of creativity in the Palace team generally. But it was a stunning late set-piece that made the difference in the end.
AM: Odsonne Edouard – 5/10 – Nearly gave Palace a spectacular lead. Not enough quality otherwise.
LM: Wilfried Zaha – 5/10 – Things didn’t really go his way and ended up looking frustrated.
ST: Jean-Philippe Mateta – 5/10 – Didn’t have much to feed on and barely saw the ball.
SUB: Eberechi Eze (56′ for Mateta) – 6/10
SUB: Jordan Ayew (71′ for Edouard) – 6/10
SUB: Jeffrey Schlupp (71′ for Doucoure) – 6/10
SUB: Luka Milivojevic (84′ for Hughes) – N/A
Patrick Vieira – 6/10 – His team appeared to have the right defensive shape for the most part, although there wasn’t enough going forward and it needed a set-piece.
GK: David de Gea – 8/10 – Pulled off a blinding save late from Edouard at 0-0 in the first half and made another outstanding stop from Guehi with no long to go. But he couldn’t reach Olise’s late stunner.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8/10 – Impressive defensive performance against his former team, including a last-ditch tackle on Zaha to stop Palace potentially winning it.
CB: Raphael Varane – 7/10 – Always looked in control against what was a fairly blunt Palace attack.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – 6/10 – First Premier League start since the World Cup and was greeted by a knock to the head, a bloody short and a bandaged head.
LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Back on the left and had no real trouble.
CM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Having a world class defensive midfielder has made United into a genuine force and this was no different. Won the ball back so often. But a yellow card will see him suspended for Sunday’s crucial trip to Arsenal.
CM: Christian Eriksen – 7/10 – An intelligeng burst forward made the opening goal.
RM: Antony – 5/10 – Still not firing on all cylinders. Decision making needs improving.
AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Scored in consecutive Premier League games.
LM: Marcus Rashford – 7/10 – Not as explosive as he has been of late but still involved and set Eriksen free to create the chance that gave his team the lead.
ST: Wout Weghorst – 7/10 – Straight in for his debut from the start and looked keen to impress. His movement luring defenders away helped make the space for Fernandes to break the deadlock.
SUB: Scott McTominay (69′ for Weghorst) – 6/10
SUB: Alejandro Garnacho (70′ for Antony) – 7/10
SUB: Fred (83′ for Eriksen) – N/A
Erik ten Hag – 8/10 – The philosophy and principles stayed the same despite a few personnel tweaks. That continuity and identity, which had been lacking for nine years before his arrival, has directly contributed to United’s revival. Couldn’t account for the stunning free-kick equaliser.