Manchester United took Crystal Palace in the premier league midweek game on Wednesday night at Selhurst Park. United were looking to build on their 1-0 win over Tottenham last weekend but Mourinho pulled off a surprise with starting lineup lacking pace all over the pitch. United control the first half but never really looked like scoring. It was a controversial break when Paul Pogba popped in and scored at the stroke of half time.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United Highlights
[ English Premier League 2016-17 Match ]
45′ 0 – 1 Paul Pogba scores at the stroke of half time to put United 1-0 in lead.
66′ 1 – 1 James McArthur equalized with an absolute super strike.
88′ 1 – 2 Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores late in second half to earn all three points for Manchester United
Jose Mourinho interview:
United has only won 2 games in the last 9 premier league games but off late they have been playing some superb football but result did not reflect that. Now a win over Spurs over the weekend has kind of put them back in the top 4 contention and their next 4 games are very win-able. Crystal Palace on the other hand have endured a terrible run of form and they are just 3 points away from relegation zone.
Last time these two meet was back in May 2016 when United came from a goal down to win 2-1 in the FA Cup final which ended up as the last game incharge for Louis Van Gaal.
Team News & Lineups: Manchester United are expected to start with the same lineup which took the field against AFC Bournemouth in the last league game. Rashford and Martial to start upfront with Rooney, Lingard, Mata to play in midfield roles alongside Carrick while Blind, Smalling, Borthwick-Jackson and Valencia to make the back four.
Palace on the other hand with start with their usual full strength team where Zaha, Wickham, Bolasi to start in three man attacking upfront while Puncheon, Cabaye and McArthur to make the midfield. This is how I expect both teams to lineup.
Predictions: United should go into the game slightly favourite and Wayne Rooney will be the key man for United as he will be fired up for his first FA Cup final since 2005 and the only trophy which he has not won with United since his move to Everton. I am going with a comfortable win for Man Utd on Saturday with Rooney, Martial and Rashford on scoresheet.
United started with Fellaini in the lineup and he looked the most likely source for United to get a goal in first half. After the game was 0-0 at the break, Both Marouane Fellaini and Martial hit the woodwork as United upped their tempo in the second 45 minutes. Puncheon and Mata scored inside minutes of each other as game went into the extra time where Jese Lingard scored late in second half of extra time to win the game for United.
Crystal Palace who has never won a major trophy, were playing in their second FA Cup final and with great support at Wembley they cause a few problems for United. Sitting deep and hoping to catch them on the break. But United had more of the ball as expected and Palace failed to get meaningful chances in the final third.
Game came to life late in the second half when Puncheon scored with a superb strike at the near post but the joy was short lived as Unied came right back into the game when amazing rooney run produced a smash grab finished from Mata. Smalling sending off in extra time put United on the back foot but they took the lead through Lingard who scored with a quality strike on the far post.
Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace Highlights
[ FA Cup 2016 Final ]
78′ 1 – 0 Jason Puncheon scored with a superb near post volley from acute angel to put Palace 1-0 up in 78th minute
81′ 1 – 1 Juan Mata scored minutes later to bring United back into the game.
105′ [ 2 Yellow/Red Card ] Chris Smalling was sent off for his second bookable offense in extra time.
110′ 1 – 2 Jesse Lingard scored late in 2nd half of extra time to win the game for Manchester United.
It is remain to be seen whether Louis Van Gaal will be United manager next season as Jose Mourinho is widely tipped to replace him. However Van Gaal was confident in his post match interview stating he will be back in the dugout next season.