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Match Reports

Match Report : 31/10/2015

31 October 2015

Palace ended a run of three successive defeats by earning a goalless draw against Manchester United, with the Eagles more likely to break the deadlock throughout the 90 minutes.

Alan Pardew’s side had the better of the chances during the contest with Yannick Bolasie striking the crossbar early on, and Yohan Cabaye missed from six yards out in the second half as the visitors held on to earn a point on the travels.

In contrast to their recent games, the Eagles began brightly and just a minute had been played when Dwight Gayle pounced on a mistake by Matteo Darmian to get a snapshot away but David de Gea did well to get down and smother the ball.

But on 11 minutes Palace would put United under real pressure and rattled the crossbar when James McArthur looped a header back into the box which was brilliantly chested into the path of Bolasie by Scott Dann, and the winger smashed a shot off the turf that looked to be flying over De Gea but the keeper got the faintest of fingertips to it to deflect it onto the woodwork.

Then a few minutes later the Spanish shot-stopper was forced into another save when a Cabaye corner was met by the head of Dann at the back post but De Gea tipped the strike over.

It took the visitors 24 minutes to finally trouble Wayne Hennessey and that came from a Wayne Rooney free-kick which was easily claimed by the Welshman, and the England captain nearly got another sniff at goal soon after but when a clever pass by Anthony Martial sliced the hosts’ defence apart the ball ran away from the United striker and allowed Hennessey to sweep up.

But then Louis van Gaal’s side began to control proceedings without putting Palace under any pressure and the sides cancelled each other out to ensure it remained goalless at the break for the fifth time out of Palace’s last six league games.

The second half began in the same fashion but with 20 minutes to go Palace had a great chance to take the lead. Some neat link-up play between Gayle and Bolasie allowed Joel Ward to get a cross into the box that found Cabaye in space six yards out, but the midfielder dragged his effort wide of the mark as a brilliant opportunity went begging.

They kept coming for Palace and Dann saw a header flash inches wide of the target from another corner, and then Gayle forced De Gea into a save with his legs a minute later as Pardew’s men pressed for a winner.

Rooney then blazed over from long range with just under 10 minutes to go but that would be as good as it got for a tepid Red Devils side who failed to seriously test Hennessey in the Eagles goal, with Palace putting plenty of pressure on their opponents late on but ultimately unable to score themselves.

It was their first goalless draw since New Year’s Day, and indeed their first level game since February as Pardew’s side stopped the rot to boost morale heading into next week’s trip to Anfield.

Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Delaney, Kelly, Cabaye (Jedinak 80), McArthur, Zaha, Puncheon, Bolasie, Gayle. Subs: Speroni, Hangeland, Ledley, Lee, Sako, Bamford.

Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian (Young 66), Blind, Smalling, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Fellaini 69), Mata (Lingard 78), Herrera, Matial, Rooney. Subs: Romero, Tuanzebe, Carrick, Perreria.

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