Manchester United maintained their relentless pursuit of a place in the Premier League’s top four with a hard-fought win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were under pressure after Leicester City’s earlier victory over Sheffield United and responded with a victory that keeps them in fifth place, level on points with the Foxes but with an inferior goal difference.
United were made to work for their victory, Marcus Rashford breaking the deadlock with a stylish finish in first-half stoppage time before playing his part in a sweet move involving Bruno Fernandes that was rounded off by Anthony Martial in the 78th minute.
It extended United’s unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions but Palace felt a real sense of injustice, furious that they were denied a penalty just before United took the lead when Wilfried Zaha tangled with Victor Lindelof, and then seeing a potential 55th-minute equaliser from Jordan Ayew ruled out by VAR for a very marginal offside.
It meant Roy Hodgson’s side slumped to their sixth consecutive league loss and their night was made worse by what looked like serious injury to Patrick van Aanholt, who was carried off on a stretcher after trying to prevent Martial scoring United’s second.
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