Our display in the first-half was poor and Ole even said it himself. We lacked the energy and sharpness that we had in the Chelsea game. Our defending was substandard at times and we paid dearly for it when Jordan Ayew put Palace in front just past the half an hour mark. Defensively our defenders were no where to be seen in the box, when Ayew latched onto from a long goal kick down the middle of our defence. We were lacking organization and compactness.
The winning goal by Patrick Van Aanholt in the third minute of injury-time was a real kick in the teeth for us. We should have at least held on for a draw, but De Gea’s error was one of the deciding factors that eventually cost us the game. The Spanish international didn’t get down low enough to the ground and didn’t place his whole body behind the ball. As a result the ball slipped through his hands when he tried to catch it.
Since Daniel James had made his debut in the Premier League for United this season he has shown that he can be a force to reckoned with. So far the young Welsh winger has been calm and assured in his decision making. I like the fact that he has two goals already in three matches. He has started since coming off the bench in the Chelsea game that he scored in.
His versatility where he can play on both wings and can score goals in dangerous positions provides an extra threat for us. He is getting better and better in every game. James was unfortunate not to score with a few other opportunities in the Crystal Palace match, but the goalie came up with good saves. His energy and enthusiasm is infectious and is a welcome addition to the team.
Manchester United doesn’t have a striker that can score 20 goals or more. This could be a real concern this season if we can’t get Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford or Jesse Lingard to score goals consistently then that can be a problem. Rashford was unlucky in missing the penalty and if he had scored may be we would have went on to win the game. Not having a top striker or two very good strikers could be the major difference between us getting the third or fourth spot or missing out from the top four.
We may not win a title or two this season because of not having a top striker that can score 20 to 25 goals a season. Some of the penalty shouts that our players made to the referee were ignored even though on the two occasions I saw they were clear penalties. So we were unfortunate in some ways, but when you don’t defend well at times and don’t take enough your chances you end up paying the price.
I believe that this was a big disappointment for us since we have been playing very well so far in the young season. But at least we have a win and a draw so far and we must try to go on a winning streak so that we can better challenge the top four teams. We just have to forget about this game and move on to the Southampton match minus the mistakes that we made in the Palace game.