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Decisions, decisions – A look at Manchester United v Crystal Palace

The new era at Old Trafford under David Moyes is now well under way after he got his first win at the Theatre of Dreams in his career. Also the victory ended their run of not scoring, which only lasted two games, and it continued their good record against newly promoted sides. Even if it was a lucky goal to open the scoreline, a win is a win at the end of the day.

It was a game where the favourites lacked the cutting edge and had to rely on a decision from referee John Moss. It was a day that he would like to forget after making some controversial decisions where Young could have been sent off for diving. The ref was hesitant to give his decisions one way or the other and I think that is what cost him, he was clearly deceived by Young.

Unsurprisingly, it was the champions who started the brighter of the two teams with a couple of efforts on goal with the best coming from a swerving 25 yarder from Carrick. The crowd expected a penalty early on when Evra tumbled , after a neat one two with RVP, but he made contact with Jedinak, not the other way round. I feel that the full back should have been booked if the ref felt that it wasn’t a penalty.

United looked for yet another spot kick and this time Moss did show a yellow card for simulation. Young cut inside from the left to get a shot away, until he felt there was an opportunity to go down where he anticipated the foul from Dikagcoi. I don’t think that he is actually helping his cause to stop people branding him as a diver.

Palace were penned into their own half for the majority of the game, and struggled to get successful passes in the final third. They failed to cope with the intensity on either flank, but they looked fairly settled when they needed to defend through the middle. The presence of their captain helped deal with Rooney and Van Persie, but he couldn’t prevent everything.

Just before the interval, we nearly witnessed a world class strike from the United talisman when he connected with a floating ball from Rooney. He whacked the ball first time and would have scored if it wasn’t for the crossbar.

To nobody’s surprise, the deadlock was broken by a penalty from the Dutchman which he dispatched into the bottom left hand corner. He had extra time to think where he was going to place the ball, because Dikagcoi let’s say had taken his time to walk off the field. He was sent off for a challenge on Ashley Young where he denied him a clear goalscoring chance so he deserved to be given his marching orders.

However, it shouldn’t have been a penalty because the initial contact was made outside the box. It was the game changer that caused a backs to the wall performance from Holloway’s side.

Fellaini entered the frame with just under half an hour to spare with a round of applause from the supporters. There were a number of fans who wore Fellaini wigs to the game so I think that the fans have already taken to him.

There were another few opportunities for the home team with their number 20 having most of them as per usual; he continually worked Speroni, but he couldn’t add to his tally and was therefore taken off for Hernandez with a view to the game against Bayer Leverkusen in mid week.

With only ten minutes remaining, Rooney scored from a great dipping free kick that also had enough curl to take it into the bottom corner, the England striker would be glad that he didn’t have to head the ball after returning from a cut on his head which forced him to wear a “stylish” headband. Talking of headbands, I think that Ashley Young should consider wearing it if he is going to spend that much time on the floor.

It was a harsh result for the Eagles who couldn’t repeat their spectacular 2-1 win last time they visited Old Trafford. They were organised throughout, and could have gone away with a point if it wasn’t for the sending off.

Their youngster Dwight Gayle was their shining light who had a couple of chances to score against the team that he supports. He used his pace to get behind the defence, but he had to score from an awkward angle; unfortunately his only option was to dink De Gea which didn’t quite work.

The one person who I feel sorry for after this game is Ian Holloway. He was banned from the touchline for criticising referees, and he couldn’t comment on the decisions that ultimately cost his team.

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