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Winners & Losers

Advantage Arsenal! Man Utd winners, losers and ratings as title charge is rocked by Casemiro ban and late leveller at Palace

01:45 GMT+3 19/01/2023
Casemiro Manchester United 2022-23 HIC 16:9
Erik ten Hag's team didn't just drop two points at Selhurst Park - they also lost Casemiro for Sunday's top-of-the-table clash at the Emirates.

The last time Erik ten Hag visited Selhurst Park, he had just been confirmed as Manchester United's new, permanent manager.

Sat up in the stands, he likely recoiled as his soon-to-be squad laboured to a 1-0 defeat that would have seen then drop into Europa Conference League had West Ham managed to beat Brighton.

A lot has changed at Old Trafford since then – Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles and Hannibal Mejbri all started against the Eagles back in May – and Ten Hag deserves endless credit for orchestrating the club's turnaround in such a short space of time.

However, there are limits to the Red Devils' progress, and talk of United mounting a title challenge was dealt a double-blow on Wednesday as they returned to the scene last season's crime against football.

Not only did Michael Olise's stunning free-kick ensure their nine-match winning run came to an end, a second-half yellow card for Casemiro means he will miss this weekend's mammoth showdown with Arsenal.

In truth, the result was what United deserved. If not for some trademark heroics from David de Gea in goal, they could have lost the game. Bruno Fernandes – who scored his side's goal, finishing off Christian Eriksen's cutback – even admitted as much at full time.

But Ten Hag & Co. cannot afford to lick their wounds. If their fledgling title hopes are to become reality, a result this Sunday is essential.

For now, here are GOAL's winners, losers and ratings from Selhurst Park...

  • David de Gea goal Manchester United Crystal Palace 2022-23

    The Winners

    Arsenal:

    As one might expect, the Palace fans in the Holmesdale Road end went ballistic when Olise's free-kick nestled in the back of the net. And, somewhere in north London, a certain Spaniard likely enjoyed it very much too. Coming into this one, United supporters had been getting the calculators out to prove that their chances of catching Premier League leaders Arsenal were far from remote. However, that late goal means Mikel Arteta's side remain eight points clear at the summit of the standings, with Ten Hag's team having only managed to move ahead of Man City on goal difference. And United will now have to try to prevent Arsenal from taking another significant step towards the title on Sunday without Casemiro, their midfield talisman. All in all, not a bad evening for the Gunners.

    David de Gea:

    He is not perfect, that has been well established. But my word, has De Gea still got some magic in the locker. Just before the break, Odsonne Edouard let fly with a shot that everyone in Selhurst Park thought would loop under the bar. De Gea had other ideas, using every millimetre of his right arm to push the ball out onto the woodwork. A few minutes later, Fernandes netted what appeared to be the winner. De Gea was called into action again late in the second half, though, reacting swiftly to parry away Marc Guehi's header. Unfortunately, he was left with no chance for Olise's free-kick, but without him, United would be coming away from London with no points at all.

    Patrick Vieira:

    The Crystal Palace manager was in a foul mood after his side's narrow defeat to Chelsea last weekend. When asked if he felt his players deserved something from the game to kick off the post-match formalities, he simply said: "Yes." It was one of a string of monosyllabic answers offered by the frustrated Palace boss, who later took aim at the Blues' market-distorting purchase of Mykhailo Mudryk. He would've been desperate to put things right against United, but the footballing gods can be cruel, and he was subjected to almost a carbon copy of Sunday's game for 91 minutes. Again, Vieira set up his midfield excellently to frustrate the far-wealthier opposition. Again, Palace had chances. And again, for a long time, it looked like his side would get nothing. But then, up stepped Olise. No doubt, there will be no one-word answers in his post-match press conference this time around.

  • Casemiro Zaha Manchester United Crystal Palace 2022-23

    The Losers

    Casemiro:

    "No, no, no, no, NOOOOO!" We imagine that was roughly Ten Hag's internal reaction to witnessing Casemiro slowly shadowing Wilfried Zaha in the closing stages of this one before scything him down. The resulting yellow card means the Brazilian will miss United's gargantuan trip to the Emirates, in a development that will have Arteta licking his lips. Fred or Scott McTominay are the most obvious possible replacements, although Lisandro Martinez can also play in a defensive midfield role. It goes without saying, but all three of those options are a universe away from what Casemiro could have offered.

    Antony:

    You just can't take your eyes off of this guy. However, his eminent watchability is not always a good thing – and one short passage of play in the first half summed up the Brazilian's Jekyll and Hyde existence perfectly. After silencing the braying home crowd with a delicious back-heel through the legs of Tyrick Mitchell, Antony played a wayward pass in the general direction of Bruno Fernandes, who was not happy. An on-field spat ensued, and went on for some time – largely thanks to the stubbornness, or petulance, of the £85 million forward. Antony is always going to be unpredictable, it's part of what makes him great. But when it doesn't come off for him, like tonight, he can end up looking a little silly.

  • Lisandro Martinez Manchester United Crystal Palace 2022-23

    Man Utd Ratings: Defence

    David de Gea (8/10):

    Made a sublime save from Edouard early on and pulled off another impressive stop when Marc Guehi diverted a corner onto goal 15 minutes from time.

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7/10):

    Enjoyed a fascinating, running battle with former team-mate Zaha down the left. Did not offer much offensively, but gave as good as he got against Palace's talisman and made a stunning, goal-saving challenge at the death.

    Lisandro Martinez (7/10):

    Shaky start. Had to be bailed out by Varane when he miscued a header. Was bandaged up after being elbowed and bravely soldiered on. Some of his passes were superb. Booked.

    Raphael Varane (7/10):

    Pretty classy. Covered for his team-mates on more than one occasion and used the ball fairly well.

    Luke Shaw (5/10):

    Looked to find Antony with raking, long balls – but rarely did. Had a testing night defensively against the dual threat of Olise and Clyne.

  • Bruno Fernandes Christian Eriksen Manchester United Crystal Palace 2022-23

    Midfield

    Casemiro (6/10):

    Fared well against a strong Palace midfield for the most part. Made a string of recovering challenges when the pressure was on – but that yellow card is a massive blow for his side and perhaps wasn't necessary.

    Christian Eriksen (6/10):

    Created Fernandes' opener with a sublime run and cut-back. Not a lot else came off, though, with Palace cutting his usual passing lanes off superbly.

    Bruno Fernandes (7/10):

    Had all the time in the world to pick his spot and made no mistake, putting his side 1-0 up. Created a few more openers after that.

  • Wout Weghorst Manchester United Crystal Palace 2022-23

    Attack

    Antony (5/10):

    Another wildly inconsistent evening. Started so well, but seems to have lost his way in recent weeks.

    Wout Weghorst (6/10):

    Not a bad start to his United career, but nothing amazing either. He offered something different, scrapping and holding the ball up fairly well.

    Marcus Rashford (6/10):

    Always looking to get behind the Palace defence. Not his night, as his scoring streak ended.

  • Erik ten Hag Manchester United 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Scott McTominay (6/10):

    Wanted a penalty after coming on, but the correct decision was probably made.

    Alejandro Garnacho (6/10):

    Not his most influential cameo, that's for sure.

    Fred (N/A):

    Replaced Casemiro, the man he's likely to fill in for on Sunday.

    Erik ten Hag (5/10):

    Vieira got his tactics exactly right, cutting off United's options in the middle and having his centre-backs mop up any direct play. Ten Hag did not really have an answer.