Manchester United delivered an electrifying performance against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford ahead of their crucial Europa League final against Ajax

Manchester United got ready for their final against Ajax in style, as they thrashed Crystal Palace 2-0 on the final day of the season at Old Trafford. Several regular team members were rested for the upcoming clash on Wednesday, and it was a youthful United side which did wonders.

Young debutant Josh Harrop was an absolute delight to watch as he skipped past challenges and curled a shot from the edge of the box past Wayne Hennessey into the corner. The score was quickly doubled when Jesse Lingard tore into the Palace half and laid the ball for Pogba, who slid his past Hennessey.

Crystal Palace were guaranteed survival earlier with a victory over relegated Hull City last week, and barely threatened to produce a fightback against the Red Devils. Manchester United will now go into Wednesday’s final with a fresh squad and extra confidence.

STARS

Josh Harrop

Manchester United's English midfielder Josh Harrop celebrates scoring thei opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Cyrstal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on May 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Senior team calling? (Photo courtesy OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Ahead of this game, United were guaranteed to at the sixth spot and that’s why Jose Mourinho named a youthful starting XI for the last game of the season at Old Trafford. Four youngsters were given full debuts in the starting XI and only Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Wayne Rooney were not a part of United’s academy.

Several of United’s young guns exceeded expectations as they helped outplay Crystal Palace in what turned out to be a brilliant opportunity for them. Left-winger Joshua Harrop, in particular, was outstanding on the flank, using his speed and agility to dominate Palace’s defence and give their right-back Joel Ward a tough time.

He even chipped in with a goal with a fine finish after being set up by Paul Pogba, who then quickly doubled United’s lead on his return from compassionate leave following the death of his father.

Harrop’s debut goal incidentally makes him the 100th man to score in a Premier League match for Manchester United. With that record, he joined the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcos Rojo as the new names added this season in United’s list of Premier League goalscorers.

Paul Pogba

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Cyrstal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on May 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Finally showing his worth? (Photo courtesy OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Paul Pogba picked up his first goal since January to the immense satisfaction of the crowd at Old Trafford. Playing for the first time since his father’s demise, Pogba was in blistering form against Crystal Palace, and gave their defenders a tough time.

After scoring, he pointed to the heavens and his strong, commanding performance was evident as to how pivotal he is to Jose Mourinho’s squad. Pogba was fierce throughout the first-half he never finished, as Jose Mourinho did not want to risk injuring him before the Europa League final.

Despite criticism on how he has failed to live up to his world record fee, appreciation for Pogba has increased over the last two months. In fact, Mourinho had even named Pogba the team’s ‘captain’ midfielder.

He was impressive even in the way he dealt with a younger United team yesterday. He slipped in an encouraging word or two while Angel Gomes was warming up, and boosted Demetri Mitchell’s confidence as the youngster displayed his talent on the field.

The France international had a good run yesterday, and Mourinho will hope he can continue the same form during the do-or-die encounter against Ajax.

DUDS

Joel Ward

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Joel Ward of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Joel Ward let off an easy interception to allow Paul Pogba to score the second goal for Manchester United. (Photo courtesy Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

The Crystal Palace defender was an absolute disaster during the match. He lost the ball to Paul Pogba at a crucial time, when he could’ve actually stopped it and prevented the Frenchman from scoring. Even Josh Harrop outplayed Ward on several occasions to get the ball ahead.

Palace did not even look like they were trying, honestly. They fought hard against relegation and consolidated a spot in top-flight football next season, yet it seemed like they were just playing for the sake of it against Manchester United. Ward also seemed like he had a broken nose by the end of the game.

Sam Allardyce will have to first work on strengthening the Palace defence ahead of next season, and players like Ward will have to learn to control their half a lot better. If they continue playing this way, they might not be able to survive relegation next season.

Overall Analysis of Impact

Did Wayne Rooney just play his last game for Manchester United?

One last hurrah! (Photo Courtesy: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

One last hurrah? (Photo Courtesy: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

United’s youngsters were on fire last night, but another player who was greatly impressive was the club captain Wayne Rooney. He did find it tough to come across playing time this season, and is rumoured to be leaving Old Trafford to join Everton.

It is becoming increasingly evident that Rooney does not feature in any of Jose Mourinho’s ambitious plans. However, if it was his last performance, he finished it off in style. He looked sharp and did not shy from battling for the ball and even attempt at scoring. He was instrumental in United’s attacks.

Old Trafford gave him what seemed like a farewell ovation as he left the field to make room for 16-year-old debutant Angel Gomes.

Rooney is unlikely to play in the Europa League final against Ajax, and if that is true, then this might just be his very last performance for Manchester United.

Referee Anthony Taylor faces the heat for letting Wilfred Zaha get fouled nine times

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium on May 6, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

The former United man underwent a terrible experience at Old Trafford and was fouled nine times. (Photo courtesy Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

The night may have ended on a high for Manchester United after a victory, but the way they played around Wilfred Zaha was terrible and ended up fouling him nine times – which is probably a record in itself. Referee Anthony Taylor failed to take any solid action against the culprits and let them off easy.

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce slammed Taylor for allowing United to play in a way that has injured the former United winger, who is one of the better performers at Palace.

Palace had to Zaha due to injury with just 11 minutes left and it was Allardyce looked positively livid as the officials kept mum during it all. Scott McTominay and Michael Carrick were booked for only two challenges on Zaha.

In fact, Zaha was probably the only Palace player who looked like he was trying to put up a fight, but after sustaining an unfair injury, he had to limp off field in a case of terrible officiating.

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