Manchester United’s shaky start to the season took another turn when they lost to Crystal Palace 1-0 at Old Trafford, their second straight Premier League loss.
The visitors got their just desserts in grand style thanks to Joachim Andersen’s first-half goal, and United was unable to replicate the trick four days after defeating Palace in the Carabao Cup.
Bruno Fernandes, Rasmus Hojlund, and Mason Mount all came close during the second half as Erik ten Hag’s team increased the pressure, but they were unable to find a way through and lost their fourth game in a row.
In terms of games lost at this point, that makes it their worst Premier League season opening.
After beating Burnley last weekend and winning the League Cup on Tuesday, it appeared as though United was turning their season around. However, they have struggled at home this year, and Ten Hag is feeling the strain.
Although they had to come back from 2-0 down against Nottingham Forest and Wolves, they were fortunate to win both games. However, they were heavily defeated by Brighton and now lost due to Andersen’s goal.
The defender’s team scored in the first 45 minutes for the first time this year as he sent a first-time shot from a set-piece into the top corner.
He then remained firm in defence as United launched a second-half attack in quest of the equaliser, but Roy Hodgson’s Palace held firm to become the first manager to go five consecutive Premier League games without losing at Old Trafford.
After ten minutes, the game picked up with quick-fire opportunities on both ends.
Right after the goal-kick, Hojlund went through on goal and nudged past Palace keeper Sam Johnstone, but Tyrick Mitchell was able to clear the ball off the line. Earlier, Marc Guehi had narrowly missed with a header from Andersen’s cross.
Joel Ward successfully deflected Marcus Rashford’s goal-bound attempt as he danced into the penalty area.
But Palace scored the game’s opening goal in impressive fashion in the 25th minute.
A cross from Eberechi Eze reached the far post, where Andersen unleashed a fierce first-time shot that nestled into the net. Diogo Dalot received a cut, but Andre Onana most likely would not have been able to save it.
In an effort to reply, United, which is still aiming for a really dominant home performance in the league, used Casemiro, who sent a header from a corner and a 20-yard effort just wide of the target.
At the beginning of the second half, there was a downpour of rain, and Palace also had to contend with a storm.
After the restart, the home team exploded into action, so Johnstone, who went through Old Trafford’s junior programme, needed to be at his best.
After a sequence of corners, he first performed well to deflect Bruno Fernandes’ 20-yard shot before deflecting Hojlund’s forceful header.
Palace did pose a threat on the counterattack as Will Hughes’ long-range shot sting Onana’s hands and Eze’s storming forward attempt rolled just wide.
The opportunities continued flowing, though, at the other end as Mitchell narrowly missed turning Alejandro Garnacho’s cross into his own goal after Mount missed burying a clean header from Dalot’s cross.
Unremembered guys Harry Maguire and Donny van de Beek were introduced in a last-ditch effort to salvage the game.
The close calls continued until the final seconds for United as Garnacho’s shot was deflected narrowly wide before Dalot’s deflected cross was cleared off the line.