Manchester United continued their unbeaten start to the season as they coasted to a 4-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
When Paul Pogba got injured, experts opined that Jose Mourinho would struggle with team selection going forward. But it looks like the Red Devils are simply unstoppable this season. Yet another clean sheet, yet another four-goal victory – this stunning narrative appears to have become a staple for United.
Crystal Palace, who are currently at the bottom of the Premier League, were blown away by a performance of great intensity. United have set about their work in exceptional form with their midfielders and forwards scoring and creating freely, while their defenders have put up solid performances at the back to maintain clean sheets.
The emergence of Marouane Fellaini continues as the Belgian is constantly growing and thriving under Mourinho’s tutelage. He scored a spectacular brace last night while Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata also added to the tally. The former Chelsea player also linked up well with Nemanja Matic in the midfield to put up an all-round display.
Manchester United Player Ratings
David De Gea – 7/10
Another clean sheet notched up for the man in front of the goal – David De Gea. Although his distribution lacked quality at times, he proved to be quite quick on his feet to restrict trouble. He made a crucial save while the game was still close to deny Palace any chances of redemption.
Antonio Valencia – 8/10
Valencia continues to go from strength-to-strength in United’s back-line. He played quite freely, and perhaps the highlight of his performance was when at one point he ran with ease through multiple challenges. The defender was quite stylish as he displayed his skills and had almost no faults in the match.
Phil Jones – 7.5/10
He almost cost his side a penalty but besides that, his performance was as solid as ever. Jones’ passing and positioning were both very brilliant while being extremely reliable for United.
Chris Smalling – 7.5/10
A surprise inclusion in place of Eric Bailly, Smalling actually came close to scoring with a header in the first-half and was alert enough to bail his teammates out of trouble on several occasions. His passing was crisp and accurate, and he linked up quite well with Jones, establishing a strong central defensive partnership.
Ashley Young – 8.5/10
Young’s delivery provided the assist for United’s second. He also ensured that his teammates never lacked width or pace, and even treated the spectators to his inane trickery skills with the ball. He also managed to keep Andros Townsend quiet, even as his compatriot looked threatening at times.
Nemanja Matic – 9/10
Often adjudged as United’s most influential summer signing, Matic put up yet another stellar display. He gleefully exploited the spaces often left open by the visitors. He was also crucial at maintaining the game’s high tempo – something which was essential to United’s dominance.
Marouane Fellaini – 10/10
Undoubtedly the star of the match, Fellaini was indeed a revelation for Manchester United. He scored a brace and also passed the ball with a lot of precision. The opposition was arguably not strong enough but Fellaini has clearly improved his game by leaps and bounds, as was clearly evident against Palace.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5/10
Possibly the only United player who produced a disappointing performance, Mkhitaryan lost the ball too often and failed to find his groove. His passing was inconsistent over the course of the match and he was simply not up to the mark.
Juan Mata – 8/10
Scored the opening goal of the night to set the tone for United’s dominance. Mata established a strong partnership with his former Chelsea teammate Nemanja Matic as he helped in controlling the midfield from a slightly deeper-lying position, while also producing some stunning touches.
Marcus Rashford – 9/10
Rashford did brilliant work to provide Mata with the opener and also chipped in with a stunning assist from his free-kick for Fellaini’s second. His speed and movement were a lot more than Palace could handle as he ruthlessly penetrated through their defence to cause troubles.
Romelu Lukaku – 8/10
Initially Lukaku looked a bit shaky but managed to slowly grow into the game. He moved ahead and displayed a mature sense of intelligence throughout the game. The Belgian striker also dropped wide to create space for some others to exploit. But, he could have easily had a hat-trick had he not missed two easy chances earlier in the game.
Jesse Lingard – 7/10
Anthony Martial – N/A
Ander Herrera – N/A