Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace: Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford inspire win despite Casemiro red
Manchester United made it 13 wins in row at home as they battled to a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
Not since Real Sociedad won at Old Trafford in the Europa League in September have Erik ten Hag’s side suffered defeat on home soil, and that record did not appear to be in any danger when Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford put the hosts two goals up.
Casemiro was shown a straight red though for grabbing Will Hughes by the neck with 20 minutes remaining, and that changed the game. Jeffrey Schlupp halved the deficit with a smart finish to set up a grandstand finish, but the visitors could not find a late equaliser.
The lead came after just seven minutes, as Rashford’s cross hit the arm of Will Hughes and althought the referee waved away the penalty appeals, that decision was overturned after a VAR review. Fernandes stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
It appeared for much of the opening 45 minutes that the second goal was imminent, as Antony troubled Vincent Guaita and Rashford was also denied by the Palace goalkeeper, before Fred fired into the side-netting.
Palace made it to the break though still in touch and they made a strong start to the second-half, as Odsonne Edouard had a couple of promising moments on the counter for the visitors.
United took charge again as the second goal came just after the hour mark. Luke Shaw played the cross into the middle, Rashford found himself unmarked six yards out and a player in his kind of form was never going to waste that chance. He now has 11 goals in 13 matches since the World Cup.
There was no sign of the chaos that was to come at that point, but Casemiro put his side in real trouble. A melee involving most of the outfield players ended with the Brazilian grabbing Hughes, and VAR deemed that to be violent conduct as he was sent off.
Palace unsurprisingly were buoyed by that and piled forward with the man advantage, swiftly making it count. A shot from Cheick Doucoure came in following a corner, with Schlupp brilliantly flicking it at goal and beyond David de Gea.
That left the Eagles with 15 minutes to find an equaliser and they put United under huge pressure. Alejandro Garnacho was brought off just 25 minutes after coming on, as Ten Hag threw Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire on to help protect the lead. It did the job, as United just about held on through seven minutes of stoppage-time.