By Lee Savery.
David Moyes recorded his first home win as Manchester United manager as they beat Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie converted a controversial penalty which saw Palace’s Dikgacoi sent off for his foul on Ashley Young which looked outside of the penalty box. The Dutchman made no mistake in placing his penalty to the right of Speroni.
The second came nine minutes from time when Wayne Rooney converted a free-kick from the edge of the area after Adnan Januzaj was fouled. He found the bottom left corner perfectly leaving Speroni with no chance.
It was a dominant performance from United who were up against a Palace side who were solid and defended pretty well for much of the game. The first half saw the home side play a quite pedestrian style and took quite a while to really threaten the shape of the away side. A sign that the United side are still getting used to the way Moyes wants his United to play. Arguably, it wasn’t the “United way”.
There were very few chances in the first half. Young would see heads shaking as he dived to win a penalty off Dikgacoi. A simulation that deserved its yellow card. Rooney showed his frustration at this fact as his only chance of the period was a long range effort, which was comfortable for Speroni. He did set up Van Persie with a wonderful through ball, after some neat play from Carrick in midfield, over the top but Van Persie’s right footed volley smashed the crossbar.
With uncertainty and frustration filling Old Trafford, it was Palace’s Dwight Gayle who left Ferdinand behind before lobbing wide that almost saw a surprising breakthrough. It was the closest The Eagles would get as up the other end, Ashley Young was played through which led to the red card and penalty drama. Relief for the home side leading at half time.
In the second half Young and Anderson were replaced by starlet Adnan Januzaj and new signing Marouane Fellaini, both were given warm receptions. Januzaj was a lively threat down the left whilst Fellaini almost had the dream début as his long range effort was saved by Speroni.
Van Persie would hit a shot, from inside the box, over the bar before Rooney’s free-kick finished off the match.
Some will be disappointed United only scored twice, definitely within the squad, but a win is a win in any Premier League match. With time, this transition period, tactically, will end but we hope it ends very soon. Rooney’s performance was a big positive as he tried to lift his side at any moment. Fellaini looked good in his cameo performance and Januzaj will certainly play a part this season.
Three points and a comfortable win but the first goal will certainly attract discussion, not that David Moyes’ side will care too much.
United team: De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio, Anderson (Fellaini – 62′), Carrick, Young (Januzaj 67′), Valencia, Rooney, Van Persie (Hernandez 79′).
Unused substitutes: Amos, Evans, Cleverley, Zaha.
Man of the match: Wayne Rooney.