Goals from Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney saw 10-man Palace fall to defeat against the reigning Premier League champions in a controversial encounter at Old Trafford.
The key moment of the game came on the stroke of half-time when the home side were awarded a contentious penalty which led to the dismissal of Kagisho Dikgacoi, and ensured an uphill struggle for the visitors in the second 45 minutes.
It had been a different story in the first half of the opening 45 minutes as Palace kept the home side subdued. United's early efforts only produced a drive by Michael Carrick which was pushed away by Julian Speroni after three minutes, and had two penalty appeals correctly rejected.
With 10 minutes of the half remaining David Moyes' side came close when Patrice Evra bombed down the left and sent a low cross into the box which was cheekily flicked goalwards by van Persie but Speroni saw the attempt trickle just past his post.
Minutes later last season's Golden Boot winner came within fractions of giving his side the lead. Anderson won a 50/50 challenge with Damien Delaney and that allowed Rooney to loft the ball in front of van Persie. Controlling the ball on his chest, the Dutchman immediately volleyed towards goal but the shot smack off the top of the crossbar.
But it the Eagles nearly went into the interval leading when a raking ball by Mile Jedinak dipped over the head of Rio Ferdinand and Dwight Gayle managed to skip past the defender, and when one-on-one with David De Gea he dinked the ball over the keeper but the ball landed wide of the target.
That miss proved costly though as the game's turning point arrived on 44 minutes. Young burst towards goal and was clumsily challenged by Dikgacoi just outside the area, but referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot and sent the South African midfielder off. van Persie dispatched the spot kick past Speroni to give Palace a mountain to climb in the second half.
The Eagles custodian was busy again after the restart when a precise through-ball by Anderson allowed Young a shot at goal but the Argentinian beat the ball away, and the England winger later saw a curling effort just miss the target from just inside the area as Moyes' boys looked to kill the game off.
Amongst a flurry of substitutions midway through the second half was the arrival of Marouane Fellaini and he was next to try his luck when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area but Speroni managed to scramble the ball away from the bottom corner, and van Persie saw a strike flash just over minutes later.
But after wave after wave of United attacks, they finally scored their second from a dead ball with 10 minutes to go. The Red Devils were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal and Rooney curled the ball over the wall and despite Speroni getting a hand to it it still crept into the bottom corner to seal the three points for his side.
Man Utd: De Gea; Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Anderson (Fellaini 62), Young (Januzaj 66); Rooney, Van Persie (Hernandez 78) . Subs not used: Amos, Evans, Cleverley, Zaha.
Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Campana (Guedioura 59), Digkacoi, Puncheon, Jedinak, Gayle (Jerome 64), Gabbidon, Moxey, Delaney, Chamakh (Kebe 74) Subs not used: Alexander, O'Keefe, Phillips, Bannan.