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Manchester United vs Crystal Palace 3 2

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

The Belgian struck two of United goals in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace, serving a timely reminder that he still has something to offer

Romelu Lukaku “grabbed his chance” by scoring twice to make light work of Manchester United’s injury crisis with a comfortable Premier League victory over Crystal Palace, says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils were missing eight first-team players at Selhurst Park, but claimed a club record eighth consecutive win away from home and extended their unbeaten league run under their interim boss to 11 games.

Belgium striker Lukaku netted in each half, curling a well-placed shot into the corner for his first and scooping over goalkeeper Vicente Guaita for his second.

Looking to respond, Palace winger Jeffrey Schlupp flicked a header wide of the far post, but Joel Ward did manage to convert a diving header from close range with 24 minutes remaining.

Solskjaer said: “He [Lukaku] has done loads of running up and down the line, right wing, left wing. He’s had a different role because of Marcus Rashford’s form.

“He got a chance up front. Two very good finishes, could have had another one as well earlier on, so I am very pleased for Rom. He is a quality finisher.

“It’s great to have him around the place, always happy, always working on his finishing. He’s played more than you think, but he’s played wide right, wide left, so it’s Rash’s form that has moved him out there.

“Now with Rash’s injury, he grabbed his chance.”

 

Mixed showing from United

Manchester United injury list
source from bbc

There were major concerns before the game that boss Solskjaer may have to field a significantly-weakened United side, having seen three players stricken by injury in the first half against Liverpool last Sunday.

But the Norwegian managed to put out a fairly strong eleven, giving a start to £47m summer signing Fred for his first appearance since 5 January in the FA Cup.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder was shaky early on, being outmuscled off the ball too often and playing loose passes, but his 84.5% pass accuracy was bettered only by defender Victor Lindelof.

Solskjaer, who has repeatedly spoken about the traditions of Manchester United, took the opportunity to hand a debut to 17-year-old youth team midfielder James Garner for the final minute, replacing Fred.

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