When Patrick van Aanholt put Crystal Palace 2-0 up early in the 2nd half it looked like it was curtains for Man Utd. The Red Devils produced a lifeless performance for the first hour, but they finished strongly. Well taken goals from Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukakau drew them level, but they saved the best until last.
Nemanja Matic volleyed home a sumptuous winner from 30 yards to seal a 3-2 win, his first goal for the club. What a way it was for him to open his account, and most importantly of all it saw Man Utd go back into 2nd. They may be 16 points behind City, but a top 4 finish almost looks assured.
Disjointed Man Utd
In the first half, Man Utd looked all at sea. Palace started much the better, and though there was a big deflection for their opener, it was well deserved. Mourinho brought on Rashford at half time, and he made an immediate impact. His pace and ability to take people on added something different, but a quick Palace free saw Utd go 2-0 down.
Chris Smalling pulled one back just before the hour mark and Utd were now in the ascendancy. Mata and Shaw were introduced in the 68th minute and 8 minutes later Lukaku fired home the equaliser. Matic had the final say with his sensational volley in injury time. Somehow, Man Utd left Selhurst park with all 3 points.
Will Mourinho Prioritise?
With that win Utd are now 9 points clear of Chelsea in 5th, and a top 4 finish looks almost certain. Liverpool are Utd's opponents at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Sevilla to come on Tuesday. With City 16 points clear at the top it will be interesting to see Mourinho's team selection against Liverpool.
Utd's only two realistic chances of silverware this season are the FA Cup and the Champions League. It would make sense for Mourinho to rest some key players with a massive tie against Sevilla to come on Tuesday. However, Utd supporters would not be best pleased to lose to their biggest rivals. Mourinho has some big decisions to make this weekend.