United battle and impress through debutants in 2-0 win

Michael Regan

It wasn't the best performance, but some lovely football against 10 men added the gloss on a good day for the Champions.

After the depressing 1-0 loss against Liverpool and before that the drab (or high quality game, in Roy Hogdson's words) Chelsea draw, this was a massive game for David Moyes. With a quintessentially 'Ferguson's Man United' selection, this seemed to draw on Moyes' mind, going for stability over much else.

The first half was a dispiriting, mostly dull ordeal with two chances of note - a beautiful ball from Rooney that was chested and blasted onto the crossbar by Robin Van Persie, and another nice exchange between Evra, Ando and Young that led to little. From a loose ball though, Young went pass the defense and won a penalty which led to a harsh red card. Van the man duly converted as the half ended. Palace were brilliant at their plan for 44 minutes, and went in 1-0 behind.

The second half saw a different United. With due respect to the reduced Palace numbers, United started to go into their higher gears. With the introduction of two debutants in Adnan Januzaj and Maruaone Fellaini, a much needed vitality was injected. "Jazz" (yes, we made that up on the live thread) provided beautiful football cutting in on the left, while the very solid 'Fro allowed the elegant Michael Carrick to use his vision further up the pitch. In all, United should have added quite a few. They did, however, only add one - the impressive Januzaj cut in and went down about 30 yards out. Wayne Rooney (formerly of a Chelsea leaning) stepped up to bend a picture perfect free kick into the bottom left corner. The keeper got his fingertips to it, and he did well.

In all, it was a good day. Fellaini had enough composure to warrant respect beyond his physical stature. Adnan was sublime with his touch and vision. While a number of United players had below par games, Fabio, Rooney and Carrick were not one of them. Young's 'dive' will hog the headlines, but his replacement might just as likely do.

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