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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Manchester United 0-1 Crystal Palace: Reds suffer second straight Premier League home loss

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Manchester United suffered a second straight Premier League loss at home, doubling their home loss tally from last season in a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday. It’s been a worrying downturn in form for Erik ten Hag’s side in the Premier League, and their comfortable 3-0 victory over Palace in midweek will do little to remedy the vibes long term after another poor performance in possession.

The Reds lined up similarly to the weekend, but with Lindelof replacing Maguire at the back and Bruno and Hojlund back in their regular starting roles.

Typically United started the match very well, controlling possession and the tempo, and they typically failed to capitalize while Palace waited for a moment to strike. The moment came in the 26th minute, with Joachim Andersen volleying home a free kick cross to put the visitors ahead.

The possession resumed for United, and there were nearly a couple nice chances for Rasmus Hojlund, but overall they continued struggling to break down the opposition and looked vulnerable on the counter. Casemiro also continued looking like a liability trying to play out from the back, turning the ball over in dangerous areas on a couple occasions. He was given an early yellow card for a harsh challenge, and was living dangerously with his tackles afterward, but also remained a goal threat on set pieces and crosses.

United looked much better coming out of the break, and had a flurry of chances saved by former United keeper Sam Johnstone from the 54th-60th minute. Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, and Hojlund each had a got at goal within five minutes of each other, with Bruno’s effort nearly finding the top corner. It felt like a turning point, but they just couldn’t find the net.

Frustration began to take its toll, and United’s chances started to dry up. Erik ten Hag’s substitutions did little to remedy the problems, and by the final moments of the 90 United weren’t even maintaining possession. In fact, Palace looked more likely to find the next goal.

When the final whistle blew the disappointment had already set in, and the result is hardly the first warning sign that this season could be another long one. The poor form in the Premier League has to turn around quick, and there is no guarantee that a return to full squad health will help.

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