Crystal Palace 4-0 Manchester United (7 May, 2024) Game Analysis

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Michael Olise scored a brace of goals as Crystal Palace completed a league double over Manchester United for the first time in their history with a thumping 4-0 victory at Selhurst Park on Monday that will add to the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag.

A makeshift United defence that included Casemiro at centre-back was easily picked apart by Palace on several occasions as Jean-Philippe Mateta and Tyrick Mitchell joined the scoresheet in the impressive win.

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United remain in eighth place with 54 points from 35 games, two points behind Newcastle United in sixth, with their hopes of European football next season fading fast. Palace are still in 14th with 43 points from 36 matches.

United had several injury absentees and were without Bruno Fernandes, the first time in his 230-game Old Trafford career he has missed a match with injury, but the ease with which they were beaten will be a huge concern for everyone at the club.

“A big disappointment. We just had an off-day and we weren’t in it,” midfielder Christian Eriksen told the BBC. “It is what it is. We can’t really change the injury things. We have to do what we can on the pitch to change it.

“Today it didn’t matter who we played. Everyone could have done better. We tried to do what we could but we were not good enough. We’ll take the blame as players.”

It is the first time in the Premier League era United have lost 13 games in a season and the scoreline might have been worse.

Palace have found their groove under new manager Oliver Glasner, but United are limping to the end of a season that cannot finish soon enough for Ten Hag.

The home side took the lead inside 12 minutes and it was far too easy. Olise collected a throw and evaded a limp challenge from Casemiro, and with no United player attempting to close him down, was able to unleash a low shot from just inside the box.

United had the ball in the back of the net from Casemiro’s header, but the effort was ruled out after contact from Rasmus Højlund on Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

It was 2-0 to the home side five minutes before the break as Mateta breezed past United defender Jonny Evans and thrashed the ball into the net for a ninth goal in 11 games since the arrival of Glasner in February.

The striker had scored 11 goals in his previous 80 games for Palace.

United’s defence was struggling to contain the movement of their hosts and when Diogo Dalot failed to deal with a ball to the back post, Mitchell had a tap-in with home players queuing up to score.

Olise’s second goal added more salt to the wound and it could have been worse for the visitors as Odsonne Édouard saw his shot come back off the woodwork late on.

“I think we could have got a few more. That shows the potential we have to play against any team in the league,” Palace defender Chris Richards said.

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