Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise bends a late free kick past David de Gea Credit: Reuters
Just as Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United dared to dream that they were back in the Premier League title race, they were hit by a stunning reality check through an equally stunning goal a few minutes into injury time.
A wonderful free-kick by Michael Olise salvaged a point for Patrick Viera’s Palace in a contest that United seemed to have under control.
Having defeated city rivals and reigning champions, Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday, many United fans had expected the Red Devils to pommel Palace even at the latter’s home turf.
While they failed to win in Wednesday evening’s encounter at palace, they also did not lose; save that a 10th straight victory in all competitions, which would have been their longest run in 14 years, evaded them by virtue of the 1-all draw. At the final whistle, Manager ten Hag’s frustration was evident as he walked off shaking his head.
United were so close to going second in the table, ahead of Manchester City, even if briefly so, which would have set up Sunday’s meeting away to leaders, Arsenal, even more. But they now head to the Emirate on Sunday having dropped points and without their defensive titan, Casemiro, who was booked for chopping down Palace’s play-maker, Wilfried Zaha, and is now suspended.
Ten Hag will ponder how the victory got away and why United did not press on after making their breakthrough through a first-half strike by Bruno Fernandes.
Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor