Premier League
Man Utd1Crystal Palace0

Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace

Juan Mata
Juan Mata's second-half goal was his third of the season in the Premier League
  • Mata comes off the bench to score
  • United's first victory in four games
  • Palace without a win since September

Manchester United moved up to sixth in the Premier League as Juan Mata's second-half goal secured victory over stubborn Crystal Palace.

There was little between the two in the first half, with Fraizer Campbell lobbing over for Palace and Luke Shaw denied for the hosts.

United boss Louis van Gaal brought on Mata after the hour and he made a swift impact, driving in from 20 yards.

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Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace: Van Gaal pleased Mata sub paid off

Mata hit the post later but his earlier goal proved enough to take victory.

It was far from a memorable spectacle but three points and a clean sheet will prove satisfying for Van Gaal, especially given his side's defensive problems.

An unsettled back line had played its part in United enduring their worst start to a Premier League season, having collected just 13 points from their first 10 games.

Chris Smalling's sending off against Manchester City last weekend, coupled with an injury to Marcos Rojo, meant Van Gaal - not for the first time this season - had to name a makeshift defence, with Daley Blind partnering 19-year-old Paddy McNair at the back.

Juan Mata scores as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace
Juan Mata has made eight appearances for Manchester United this season, all in the Premier League

Their unfamiliarity alongside each other almost proved costly in the first half, as a long ball from the Palace defence bounced between the pair for Campbell, who tried to lift his shot over David de Gea, but the effort ended up on the roof of the net.

That, though, was the highlight of an otherwise forgettable first half, with United dominant in possession but struggling to make it count.

Luke Shaw had the hosts' best opportunity before the break, breaking from halfway but his low drive was tipped behind by Julian Speroni.

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Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace: Nothing going right for us - Warnock

Palace had lost three of their previous four games but, to their credit, they were doing well to nullify United's attack.

As a result, set-pieces looked to be the home side's best chance, and only a clearance on the line from James McArthur prevented Marouane Fellaini from powering in a header from Wayne Rooney's corner.

With a draw looking increasingly likely, Van Gaal brought on Mata for Adnan Januzaj and, four minutes after his introduction, the Spaniard picked up the ball and steered in a left-footed finish.

Palace never looked like scoring an equaliser, and instead Mata could have added further gloss to the scoreline but his late shot smacked against the post.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal:

"It was a fantastic goal but it was important also. It is always difficult to attack against a defending team, who come here to defend and not attack. You have two rows of four and we created a lot of possibilities.

"Juan Mata has played a lot of matches. I have given him the chance, I give other players the chance and at the end we shall see who plays more than the other. It is always like that in football.

"Paddy McNair is not injured. It was cramp. It is [recent injury problems] crazy but it is what I have to deal with."

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock:

"We are having that kind of spell at the minute, nothing is going right for us. If Fraizer Campbell had scored that chance he had it would have put a lot of pressure on them, but it was not to be. I thought the referee did well today.

"It is hard at times for a lot of clubs at this level but you just have to keep going. I can't criticise the lads today. The passing was poor at times, though, we made some bad decisions with the ball.

"You have to work hard to make your own luck. Liverpool next, after last year that should be a cracking match and I am looking forward to it."

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace are without a win in their last five games (drew one, lost four)
Crystal Palace
Manchester United have not lost at home since the opening day of the season
Marouane Fellaini
United kept only their third clean sheet in their last 13 Premier League home games

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 25A ValenciaBooked at 83mins
  • 33McNairSubstituted forFletcherat 90+1'minutes
  • 17Blind
  • 3Shaw
  • 16Carrick
  • 11JanuzajSubstituted forMataat 63'minutes
  • 31Fellaini
  • 10Rooney
  • 7Di MaríaSubstituted forWilsonat 71'minutes
  • 20van Persie

Substitutes

  • 8Mata
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 21Herrera
  • 24Fletcher
  • 36Vermijl
  • 42Blackett
  • 49Wilson

Crystal Palace

  • 1Speroni
  • 3Mariappa
  • 6Dann
  • 27DelaneyBooked at 38mins
  • 2WardBooked at 35mins
  • 42Puncheon
  • 18McArthur
  • 28Ledley
  • 7BolasieBooked at 64minsSubstituted forGayleat 81'minutes
  • 29ChamakhSubstituted forBannanat 81'minutes
  • 10CampbellSubstituted forDoyleat 90+1'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5McCarthy
  • 9Doyle
  • 13Hennessey
  • 16Gayle
  • 19Fryers
  • 25Bannan
  • 34Kelly
Referee:
Chris Foy
Attendance:
75,325

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home23
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home11
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 1, Crystal Palace 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Crystal Palace 0.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Darren Fletcher replaces Patrick McNair.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Kevin Doyle replaces Fraizer Campbell.

Attempt blocked. Daley Blind (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Robin van Persie.

Booking

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Juan Mata (Manchester United) hits the left post with a left footed shot from outside the box.

Attempt blocked. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Barry Bannan replaces Marouane Chamakh.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Dwight Gayle replaces Yannick Bolasie.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Marouane Fellaini.

Attempt blocked. Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jason Puncheon with a cross.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Michael Carrick.

Attempt blocked. Fraizer Campbell (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Ledley.

Patrick McNair (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marouane Chamakh (Crystal Palace).

Attempt saved. Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fraizer Campbell.

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. James Wilson replaces Ángel Di María.

Attempt missed. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 1, Crystal Palace 0. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

Attempt blocked. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adrian Mariappa.

Attempt blocked. Ángel Di María (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daley Blind.

Booking

Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Juan Mata replaces Adnan Januzaj.

Attempt missed. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Marouane Chamakh.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by James McArthur.

Attempt blocked. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adnan Januzaj with a cross.

Hand ball by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea1192028111729
2Southampton118122351825
3Man City1163222121021
4West Ham115331914518
5Arsenal104511811717
6Man Utd114431714316
7Swansea104331310315
8Liverpool114251415-114
9Tottenham104241314-114
10Everton103431917213
11West Brom103431313013
12Newcastle103431115-413
13Stoke103341012-212
14Hull112541315-211
15Sunderland102531118-711
16Aston Villa11326516-1111
17Crystal Palace112361420-69
18Leicester112361118-79
19QPR112271122-118
20Burnley11146619-137
View full Premier League table

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