Matteo Darmian was the unlikely hero for Manchester United last night as they hosted Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, with the defender at the origin of the first goal, then scoring the second one himself in the second half to keep United’s chase for the top 4 spot alive as the season closes down in a few more weeks. United looked more threatening than in previous games, but had to content themselves with only two goals finally. Playing on as a left back for this game, Darmian was involved in United’s first goal on the 4th minute, as his low cross inside the box was turned into his own net by Palace defender Delaney. Buoyed by this goal, United stepped up a gear, with Mata testing Speroni with a 20-yard effort minutes later, although Palace had a chance to creep back in the game, but Adebayor flashed his shot well wide off target at the other end. United kept the pressure on, with Martial tormenting the defenders, and had a curling effort saved by Speroni, before setting up Rooney with a clear chance, but the latter shot straight at the keeper.
United kept their dominance in the second half as well, and after being denied time and again by Speroni, they finally found the killer second goal on the 55th minute. Blind’s corner was partly cleared by the defense, and the ball fell kindly to Darmian 18 yards out. The latter controlled the ball with his chest before unleashing an unstoppable volley which went in off the post, giving the keeper no chance whatsoever. Palace were lucky not concede a third goal as Rashford, Rooney and Depay went close. United eased off the pressure finally as the match looked well secured for them, keeping in mind the weekend clash against Everton at Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final.
Match highlights video: