Marouane Fellaini’s first Manchester United brace helped Jose Mourinho’s men to another comprehensive victory, leaving Crystal Palace reeling from a seventh straight Premier League defeat without so much as a goal.
Saturday’s Old Trafford encounter was a complete mismatch between two teams on opposing trajectories.
Fellaini’s double was sandwiched between Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku goals in a comprehensive 4-0 win that saw United equal their record tally of 19 points after seven Premier League matches as embattled Palace fell to another loss.
What they said
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho: “I think Marouane has important qualities and I try to use them depending on the situation and the team needs. He is a team player, a great character and we have a good relationship. He is a fighter, a guy with lots of pride, and I am really pleased I helped him to reach this level and to change the perception the fans have now.”
Palace boss Roy Hodgson: “You add all the things together and I fear we just have to accept that we are the boxer fighting in a weight class he is not able to perhaps handle at this moment in time. We knew we were playing a team that was quite possibly out of our league and all we could do was give it our best shot.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Marcus Rashford
Another eye-catching display from United’s teenage England star, in which he produced two fine assists. He comprehensively got the better of Joel Ward on the left before providing the cutback from which Mata opened the scoring, and delivered an excellent free-kick – as David Beckham watched on from the stands – that Fellaini headed in for his second goal.
View from the dugout
Quite simply, what a contrast. United boss Mourinho appeared annoyed once or twice at things he saw on the field, and had to dry his hair with a towel at one point, but this wet afternoon could hardly have gone much better for him as his unbeaten team ascended to the top of the table. Hodgson, meanwhile, was suitably gloomy-looking throughout. There was little really in this latest defeat for goalless, rock-bottom Palace – playing most of the contest with Bakary Sako as a makeshift striker, in the absence of the injured Christian Benteke – to suggest they have anything other than a long, hard battle for survival ahead of them. That’s nine goals conceded in their last two matches, with a clash with champions Chelsea up next.
This match saw Palace equal Portsmouth’s Premier League record of seven straight losses from the start of 2009/10. United scored four times in a game for the sixth time in all competitions this season.
Manchester United: David de Gea 6, Antonio Valencia 6, Phil Jones 6, Chris Smalling 6, Ashley Young 7, Nemanja Matic 7, Marouane Fellaini 8, Juan Mata 7, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6, Marcus Rashford 8, Romelu Lukaku 7. Substitutes: Jesse Lingard (for Mkhitaryan, 66) 6, Anthony Martial (for Rashford, 72) 7, Ander Herrera (for Mata, 77) 7.
Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey 6, Joel Ward 5, Mamadou Sakho 5, Damien Delaney 5, Patrick van Aanholt 5, Luka Milivojevic 5, Yohan Cabaye 5, Andros Townsend 5, Jason Puncheon 5, Jeffrey Schlupp 5, Bakary Sako 5. Substitutes: James McArthur (for Schlupp, 68) 5, Jairo Riedewald (for Puncheon, 69) 5, Freddie Ladapo (for Sako, 74) 5.
Who’s up next?
Liverpool v Manchester United (Premier League, October 14)
Crystal Palace v Chelsea (Premier League, October 14)
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.