Palace's Olise denies Man United at the death as winning streak ends

United controlled most of the second period but could not hang on as Olise's superb left-footed free kick found the top corner in the 91st minute and led to a draw

Reuters
Published : 19 Jan 2023, 04:46 AM
Updated : 19 Jan 2023, 04:46 AM

Manchester United's hopes of moving second in the Premier League were scuppered as Michael Olise's stunning last-gasp equaliser earned Crystal Palace a 1-1 home draw on Wednesday.

United were poised for a 10th successive victory in all competitions for the first time since 2009 thanks to Bruno Fernandes's goal shortly before halftime.

But they were rocked in the 91st minute when Olise's superb left-footed free kick found the top corner.

The week has been dominated by talk of British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe's ownership bid for England's most decorated club as it seeks to restore its former glory.

But whatever is happening off the pitch, on it United were in rude health after the weekend win over Manchester City.

Brimming with confidence they gave a debut to on-loan striker Wout Weghorst, but it was a more familiar face who gave them the lead at a chilly Selhurst Park.

An even first half was almost up when Fernandes was picked out by Christian Eriksen's pass and he fired an unstoppable shot into the net.

United controlled most of the second period but could not hang on as Olise gave Spanish keeper David De Gea no chance with a moment of magic.

Had Erik ten Hag's side claimed the win they would have gone to surprise leaders Arsenal on Sunday knowing victory would put them within three points of the Londoners.

As it is they remained in third place with 39 points, the same as Man City who have a better goal difference. Arsenal have 47 points having played a game less. Man City face fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.

To add to United's frustration they will go to Arsenal without influential midfielder Casemiro after he received a late yellow card for a rash foul, triggering a suspension.

"We're not happy with a draw. We should have taken our chances and closed the game," Fernandes said. "They scored a great goal at the end. Nothing we can do now.

"We have to look forward now. Other games are coming. We're still doing good things. We're really disappointed with the result but the next one is close."

The signing on loan of giant Dutch striker Weghorst from Burnley was a surprise to many but he almost justified his starting place with a header narrowly over the crossbar as United looked the more threatening side.

Palace were unable to make much impression in the first half although they did come closest to scoring when Odsonne Edouard's curled effort was touched on to the crossbar by De Gea.

Shortly afterwards Palace's defence switched off, allowing Eriksen to run behind on to Marcus Rashford's pass and the Dane's cut-back was perfect for Fernandes who made no mistake.

United were in control after the break and seemed set to become the first United side to win 10 games in a row since the heady days of former manager Alex Ferguson.

But they invited some late pressure and mid-table Palace took advantage to avoid a third successive defeat.

"In the last 15 minutes we put pressure on them. Michael scored that free kick," Palace manager Patrick Vieira said.

"It was tough, we worked hard and we got rewarded."

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher