Jose Mourinho has Nemanja Matić to thank as the Serbian midfielder scored a second-half stoppage-time screamer to give Manchester United a famous 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
United looked out of sorts in the opening 45 minutes. Failing to get their game going, with Paul Pogba, in particular, looking lost in the centre of the park. Palace started the stronger and with 11 minutes on the clock took the lead thanks to a shot from Andros Townsend which found it's way into the back of the net via a generous deflection from United defender Victor Lindelöf.
The goal didn't prove to be a fluke, and Palace deservedly doubled their advantage minutes after the restart with a smart piece of play. Jeffrey Schlupp quickly took a free-kick, passing to Patrick van Aanholt. The Dutch defender showed a quick turn of pace, to bear down on goal and plenty of composure to beat de Gea and give Palace a 2-0 lead.
United had other ideas and halved the deficit minutes later, through Chris Smalling who provided a deft header from a clipped ball from Antonio Valencia. Mourinho's men ramped up the pressure in search of a leveller, and a shot from Matic, which was cleared by Benteke had the United players convinced the ball was over the line.
Eventually, Lukaku levelled the scores in the 76th minute to set up a grandstand finish. A deflected shot from Sanchez hit the crossbar and the Belgian international showed plenty of composure biding his time and slotting the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
United pushed in search of a winner, not before de Gea pulled off another world-class save to deny Benteke a late winner. However, with 91 minutes on the clock, the ball fell perfectly to Matic who smashed the ball from outside the box past a helpless Hennessey to give his side a famous 3-2 win at the death. Some way to score your first goal for Manchester United.
90+3- Full Time- Crystal Palace 2 Manchester United 3. Matic with a late winner to break Palace hearts.
90+1 3-2 United! Wow! Matic with a thumper at the death! The ball sits up lovely from the Serbian just outside the box. He smashes it past Hennessey. Heartbreaking for Palace.
89- Was that the last chance for United? Rashford slips through Mata, but the ball is slightly overhit and goes out for a goal-kick
88- Sørloth has been another star man for the Eagles today. He holds the ball up well and releves some of the pressure for Palace.
84- Palace are looking a little nervous, but they hold on. Benteke wins a freekick off Lindelöf. Mourinho slips over. Everyone laughs.
80- Last ten. Predictably United are pushing for a winner. Can Palace hold on for a vital point?! What a grandstand finish!
79- Sub for Palace Schlupp comes off Riedewald comes on in his place.
78- What a save from de Gea! A fine reaction saves to deny Benteke with a header.
76- GOAL! 2-2 United find a way back! A deflected shot from Sanchez hits the crossbar and falls to Lukaku. The striker bides his time before slotting the ball into the back of the net. Game on!
72- Off the line! United are ramping up the pressure! A ball is floated to the back post and Matic cracks the ball towards goal. Benteke is on hand to clear it off the line. The United players are convinced the ball is over the line, but remember the Premier League has goal-line technology. Nothing doing.
71- Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had a stormer at right-back for Palace tonight. He's only 20 years old. Frightening.
67- Roll of the dice time from Mourinho. A double substitution. Mata comes on for Valencia, whilst Luke Shaw replaces Valencia. That's all of United's subs done.
66- Shot by Pogba, well covered by Hennessey.
62- Pogba and Sanchez link up again. Sanchez again clips in a ball for Pogba. Not for the first time, Pogba ends up on the floor. Poor again from the midfielder.
61- Palace is keeping the ball well, playing some lovely patient football. After plenty of passes, van Aanholt's cross is saved by de Gea.
56- This game has everything going on at the minute! Yellow card for Ashley Young for his challenge on McArthur.
54- GOAL 2-1 United spring back into life. Valencia lofts the ball into the box Chris Smalling nods the ball into the back of the net. Is this the start of the fightback?
48- GOAL! Palace is 2-0 up. Schlupp takes a quick free-kick to van Aanholt. The Dutch defender speeds through and fires past de Gea. What a start to the second half!
45- United who are all in white get us back underway. One change McTominay has been hooked off and Marcus Rashford replaces him. An attacking move from United.
Some half-time reading for you.
PSG Take on Real Madrid in the Champions League. Check out all the latest updates before the big game in Paris tomorrow.
47- Peep! Half-time. Solid first half of football from Palace who is 1-0 up with a deflected goal. United have struggled, and I'm expecting a better showing from them in the second half.
45+2 A clash of heads between Ashley Young & Milivojevic add some minutes onto the first half.
45- One minute of extra time to be played
43- It's safe to say Pogba is having a shocker. Another misplaced pass from the midfielder. I'm sure Mourinho will be telling him all about it at the half-time break.
41- First yellow of the match for young Scott McTominay. His challenge on van Aanholt gets him in the book.
39- Half chance for United. Jesse Lingard picks the ball up just outside the Palace box. His shot is skewed wide.
38- Pogba and Sanchez exchange passes again. This time Sanchez passing a dangerous ball to Pogba in the box. The ball is long and Pogba ends up in a pile on the floor.
35- Pogba and Sanchez exchange passes, and Sanchez sprints off towards goal. The Chilean is blocked off by Palace defenders. Sanchez is United's only creative force at the minute.
30- Pogba Watch- It's been a quiet half hour from the French midfielder, a few passes missed. Looks a little off the pace. Must Improve.
26- Confident from grabbing the opener, Townsend has another crack from distance. The ball goes over the bar.
22- United are finding their feet, Ashley Young whips in a dangerous cross. Hennessey is on hand to punch the ball away.
19- Half chance for United. Smart passing between Lukaku and Sanchez, ends with the Chilean lofting a ball into the box for his strike partner, unfortunately it's just out of reach for the number 9. Close.
18- January signing Sørloth bosses Matic and wins the ball. Baring down on goal, the Norwegian drills a low shot which is captured by de Gea.
14- The Selhurst Park faithful are in full voice! What a start for the Eagles! Palace is well up for this. Second corner for the home side. Comes to nothing in the end.
11- GOAL! 1-0 Palace! Townsend with a rocket! Benteke passes to Townsend, who curls the ball into the top corner! Although after the replay it's pretty clear the ball knocks off Lindelöf. Palace take the lead with the deflection.
6- First chance for United, a ball is clipped up to Sanchez who heads the ball towards goal. Hennessey blocks the ball with his face, some tidy keeping from the Welsh keeper.
5- First corner of the game for Palace. van Aanholt knocks the ball and it's cleared by Smalling. Palace fail to take advantage as Tomkins smashes an overhead kick well over.
2-van Aanholt on the wrong end of a clash with United captain Valencia. Play gets back underway. I have a feeling tonight's game is going to get tasty.
Kick-off! Palace get us underway!
The players are in the tunnel! Live updates are moments away! As a reminder, you can watch all the action on HD 11.
15 Minutes to Kick-off! This young fan is trying to blag a free shirt. What a scamp.
We have to go way back to get a Crystal Palace win in this fixture. 27 years to be precise, Blimey!
19 - Crystal Palace haven't won any of their last 19 league meetings with Man Utd, since a 3-0 win in May 1991 thanks to goals from Ian Wright and John Salako (2). Difficulty. #CRYMUN— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 5, 2018
Just under 40 minutes to Kick-off at Selhurst Park. As a reminder, you can watch all the action on HD 11.
Next in! Manchester United. Jesse Lingard gets a starting place after bagging the winner against Chelsea last time out. Elsewhere, Anthony Martial doesnt make the match-day squad. Spooky.
TEAM NEWS! Kelly & Schlupp are back in the team after recovering from injury. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is not part of the squad as he cannot face his parent club.
Hello! Welcome to our live updates for Crystal Palace Vs Manchester United. Palace is in desperate need of a win, one which would pull them out of the relegation zone. Whilst a win for United will see them retake second place, leapfrogging rivals Liverpool in the process. Which will be nice. You can watch all the action via beIN SPORTS Connect. Or follow all the action with me!
Crystal Palace will be hoping they can pile yet more away day misery on Manchester United when they head to Selhurst Park on Monday evening. Palace, who are in the relegation zone know that a victory can propel them out of the bottom three. Whilst United have lost their last two away matches in the league to Newcastle & Tottenham respectively. You can catch all the action on beIN SPORTS Connect.
Roy Hodgson's side will be boosted by the return of defenders Martin Kelly & Jeffery Schlupp after shaking off ankle and knee injuries. However, the Eagles will be without former Man United winger Wilfried Zaha who is still sidelined with a knee injury.
Zaha’s absence will certainly be a concern for Palace fans heading into the game as the South London side has lost all eight Premier League games this season without Wilfried Zaha, scoring once and conceding 18 goals.
Despite being currently mired in the drop zone, Eagles boss Hodgson is not thinking about relegation just yet."At the moment there is no need for any of us, certainly not the players or myself, to give that any thought.”
As for Manchester United, they have a host of players unavailable for the Monday night clash. Defenders Daley Blind, Phil Jones & Marcos Rojo join midfielder Ander Herrera on the sidelines.
More concerning for United is the prospect of losing three consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since January 1996. Nothing more than a victory will essentially hand the title to cross-town rivals Man City, who are now four victories away from claiming the Premier League crown.
Thankfully United enjoy playing on Monday in the Premier League and have the best record of any side in matches played on a Monday, winning 42 of their 61 games (69%).
Whilst much of the pre-match talk has focused on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season according to Mourinho. "For Zlatan, we all think it's his last season at Manchester United. It will be a very personal decision for him to play or to stop.”
It certainly promises to be an interesting encounter when relegation-threatened Crystal Palace welcome Manchester United to Selhurst Park. You can watch all the action on 11 HD.