Manchester United’s stuttering form continued as they played out a dour 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on a misty night in South London.
Crystal Palace started the brighter of the two sides, although they were very much aided by some slopping passing out from the back from Manchester United in the opening stages, with a number of players surrendering possession.
Despite that, United goalkeeper Dean Henderson wasn’t overly tested in the first period, with Vincente Guaita in the Eagles goal being forced into the best save of the half, the Spaniard doing well to keep out a deflected Nemanja Matic strike from the edge of the box.
Many onlookers would have expected Manchester United to improve after the break, though it could be argued that they got even worse, failing to test Guaita whatsoever in the second half with virtually every player in the Red Devils zebra kit having a night to forget.
Crystal Palace showed plenty of organisation throughout the contest, and as the game ticked into added time, they could have snatched a winner. However, with David de Gea left at home for what was described as “personal reasons”, Dean Henderson staked his claim for the number one jersey as he made a crucial save to deny Patrick van Aanholt at the death to maintain his clean sheet and earn his lacklustre side a point.
Nemanja Matic’s deflected strike was Manchester United’s only shot on target against Crystal Palace.
Zero shots on target after the 13th minute. pic.twitter.com/zoLHf9qbTJ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 3, 2021
Speaking afterwards, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was understandably disappointed with his side’s display, his side having now played out three successive 0-0 draws.
“It’s not good as you know if you want to move up the table, you need to win,” he told Match of the Day. “You have to earn the right, you have to win tackles, you have to fight you have to play passes better we kept giving the ball away.
“The tempo was missing, once in a while it happens. It wasn’t one of our best nights that’s for sure.
“Roy Hodgson always sets his teams up to be really hard to play against and it just showed again tonight. A couple of times when we had the tempo in the right positions, we created decent opportunities but I don’t think we deserved anything more than one point.
“Of course it’s a concern. When you have three clean sheets in a row, that will help you win games but we haven’t produced the quality. We just have to find a spark again, the quality again and try and wins the games.
“Dean Henderson saved the point for us as he’s not really had too much to do. But that shows he is maturing and growing and gaining experience.”
Next up for Manchester United across the City to face runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, United going into the game without having lost in their last 21 away games, while City have won their last 21.
“We go into every game thinking we need to win and we want to win,” Solskjaer said of Sunday’s game. “We just have to concentrate on ourselves. We know we’re in a fight to be top four, so every game is important.”