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Summary

  1. Man Utd XI: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Lingard, Schneiderlin, Mata, Rooney, Martial, Rashford
  2. Crystal Palace XI: Speroni, Kelly, Mariappa, Delaney, Souare, Jedinak, Cabaye, Lee, Zaha, Sako, Adebayor

Live Reporting

By Neil Johnston

All times stated are UK

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FULL-TIME - Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

A very comfortable victory for Manchester United who head for Wembley in confident mood. Problems for Palace, who have won one league game in 2016.

Thanks for your company.

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

Louis van Gaal looks satisfied as he closes the binder he carries around with him. Job done by his side tonight.

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

Three minutes of additional time.

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

Some United fans are making an early move for the exits, heartened by a performance which will give Louis van Gaal's side confidence ahead of the FA Cup semi-final.

Palace are much-changed but have offered little and although they are close to confirming another season in the top-flight, their safety is yet to be confirmed.

SUBSTITUTION

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

This game is petering out.

Wayne Rooney gets a decent ovation as he is replaced by Marouane Fellaini. 

A good night for the United skipper. 

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

United have hardly broken sweat. Another change as Anderr Herrera comes on for Lingard with Louis van Gaal looking towards Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Everton.

SUBSTITUTION

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

Two Palace changes - James McArthur is on for Cabaye after Jordon Mutch replaces Lee Chung-yong.

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

United are cruising to three points. Daley Blind is booked for a foul on Wilfried Zaha before Marcus Rashford goes off to a standing ovation as Memphis Depay comes on.

CLOSE!

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

Marcus Rashford storms into the Palace area before teeing-up Jesse Lingard. Surely goal number three? The keeper saves before Rashford latches on the rebound and is also thwarted.

Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

If this does turn out to be a dress rehearsal for next month's FA Cup final then United will fancy their chances of finishing the season with silverware.

Palace have been as poor as United have been creative, alert and lively.

GOAL - Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace

Matteo Darmian

S.W.E.E.T.

Take a bow Matteo Darmian as the Italian defender chests down on the edge of the area before lashing the ball into the back of the net.

It's nothing more than United deserve. No 1-0 win tonight.

Matteo Darmian
Getty Images

CLOSE!

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Another tremendous save by Julian Speroni denies Juan Mata from close range but the United players should have done better.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Alan Pardew is giving his players a chance to prove themselves before making any changes.

Great defending by Pape Souare keeps out Wayne Rooney's goal-bound shot.

The second half has started the way the first half ended - with the hosts on top.

KICK-OFF

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Don't players tie their laces before coming out on the pitch?

Wayne Rooney is down on bended knee making adjustments to his footwear before Lee Mason signals the start of the second half.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Simon Stone

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

"Bastian Schweinsteiger is an interested spectator at Old Trafford. The Manchester United midfielder must be happy with what he has seen.

"United have put in one of their most effective attacking displays of the season and should be more than one up.

"The absentees will be sorry they missed it."

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Simon Stone

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

"There is a Manchester United supporter sat in the stand below the directors' box who has been filling the quiet moments at Old Trafford by bellowing a demand for the hosts to push on and get a second.

"Its a bit harsh given how much the hosts dominated that opening period. But the gap is only one and I wouldn't like to be sat next to him if Palace get an equaliser in the second half."

HALF-TIME

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Julian Speroni is keeping Palace in this.

Manchester United have the lead but they have only scored one.

Can Palace claw an equaliser?

YELLOW CARD

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Ouch! Pape Souare lunges at Juan Mata with an out of control challenge. Palace can count themselves fortunate to still have 11 players on the pitch.

GREAT SAVE!

Mna Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

It's Manchester United 1-0 Julian Speroni.

Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are swarming over Palace's defence. Both go close before Speroni pulls off a stunning stop to keep out Anthony Martial's powerful shot. Lovely save.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Red sky above a hushed Old Trafford. United are trying to kill this game off before half-time. If the score stays like this then United's past five league wins will have ended 1-0.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palacxe

Poor Damien Delaney.

The Palace defender is having a shocker and almost scores another own goal after Anthony Martial's cross comes off his body and fizzes just wide of the post.

Lee Mason awards a goal kick when it was clearly a corner.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

How many of these Palace players are making Alan Pardew sit up and take notice before the FA Cup semi-final this weekend?

Not many at all.

Alan Pardew
Getty Images

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

United are in complete control having enjoyed two-thirds of the possession with the half hour mark approaching. Three of their four shots have been on target. 

It's bright and breezy from the hosts, Palace keeper Julian Speroni is the busiest man on the pitch.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Simon Stone

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

"Manchester United have been accused of overplaying this season but we've just seen a brilliant backheel from Marcus Rashford that releases Jesse Lingard deep in the Palace box.

"Instead of going for goal, Lingard goes for the pull back even though his intended target, Anthony Martial, was further away from goal than he was."

Marcus Rashford
Getty Images

CLOSE!

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

United's forwards are full of youth, promise and pace. Anthony Martial lets fly from the edge of the area and Julian Speroni beats it away at full stretch.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Applause for Anthony Martial as he glides past Martin Kelly and gets the better of Adrian Mariappa but slips as he looks to deliver a low cross into the danger area.

Rooney and Mata are in the centre of midfield with Schneiderlin just behind. United are all over Palace.

Anthony Martial
AP

0 - Crystal Palace have failed to score in 10 of their 13 Premier League games against Manchester United & 5 of 6 at Old Trafford. Blanks

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

United might be leading but the atmosphere remains flat. The number of empty seats could yet turn out to be the story of the night at Old Trafford.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

As it stands, United are one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal. Palace started this game in 15th but could drop to 16th if they are heavily beaten.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Emmanuel Adebayor has Palace's first shot in anger but the visitors are playing as though they have their minds on Sunday's FA Cup semi-final.

First booking of the game shortly before the goal for former Liverpool defender Martin Kelly after tugging back Anthony Martial.

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Simon Stone

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

"Game being played to backdrop of quite a few empty seats. It will be interesting to see whether crowd is actual figure or includes all season ticket holders."

Lone Fan
Getty Images

Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Palace haven't got off the coach.

Having been gifted the lead, United are now looking to double it.

Juan Mata forces a save from Julian Speroni who will be relieved to get his hands on the ball having had little chance with the goal.

GOAL - Man Utd 1-0 Crystal Palace

Damien Delaney (own goal)

That's lifted the crowd.

A powerful run by the recalled Matteo Darmian ends in him crossing low into the Palace penalty area and Damien Delaney sticks out a leg and inadvertently turns to ball past his own keeper.

Damien Delaney
Getty Images

Man Utd 0-0 Crystal Palace

All eyes on the attendance tonight.

There are thousands of empty seats at Old Trafford and the atmosphere is distinctly low key.

Palace are sitting back and allowing United to attack while Louis van Gaal has his pen out and is making his first notes of the evening.

Man Utd 0-0 Crystal Palace

Simon Stone

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

"Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward headed straight for Crystal Palace owner Steve Parish when he made his way into the Old Trafford directors box.

"The pair had a friendly exchange before Woodward headed for his seat."

Man Utd 0-0 Crystal Palace

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KICK-OFF

Man Utd 0-0 Crystal Palace

Peep. Peep. Referee Lee Mason blows his whistle and we're under way.

Man Utd v Crystal Palace (20:00 BST)

Here come the teams. Palace are playing in their excellent white away kit. Still lots of empty seats at Old Trafford.

Man Utd v Crystal Palace (20:00 BST)

There's not been too many smiles in the crowd at Old Trafford recently but one United fan will go home happy whatever tonight's result. Ryan Giggs has just signed a youngster's tracksuit top and received a beaming smile in return.

Unhappy new year

Man Utd v Crystal Palace (20:00 BST)

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Getty Images

Crystal Palace could yet end the season with a major trophy but their Premier League form in 2016 has been terrible.

They started the calendar year occupying fifth spot in the table but eight points from a possible 45 means they have yet to cement their top-flight safety with four games remaining.

Their last league win at Old Trafford against United? Twenty-seven years ago although they did beat United on their own patch to reach the League Cup semi-final in 2011.