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Manchester United keep up top-four chase with win at Crystal Palace

Reuters/AFP/London, United Kingdom
Filed on July 17, 2020 | Last updated on July 17, 2020 at 01.56 am
Manchester United, top-four, chase, Champions League, beat, Crystal Palace, 2-0, Selhurst Park, London, Premier League
Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford (2nd R) shoots past Crystal Palace's Spanish goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (C) to score the opening goal of the English Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park in south London on July 16, 2020.

(AFP)

With two games remaining, United are in fifth place on 62 points, behind Leicester City on goal difference, with third-placed Chelsea on 63.

Manchester United kept up their chase for a Champions League qualification spot with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on target in a 2-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday.

With two games remaining, United are in fifth place on 62 points, behind Leicester City on goal difference, with third-placed Chelsea on 63.

After West Ham visit Old Trafford on Wednesday, United go to Leicester on the final day of the season in what could be a decider for fourth place.

"We need to smile and go into this, we have earned this right, no-one thought in January that we would be in with a shout for top four," said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose team are 19 unbeaten on all competitions.

"We have done fantastic since the restart. These are the games that matter. That is the thing at Manchester United, you have to step up and show your personality," he said.

Solskjaer's side were not at their best in South London and survived a scare just before the break when Wilfried Zaha went down under challenge from Victor Lindelof but referee Graham Scott turned down the penalty appeal.

Moments later, Rashford put United in front, his smart footwork sending the Palace defence the wrong way before he coolly slotted home.

Mid-table Palace thought they had drawn level in the 55th minute when Jordan Ayew slid in a low cross from Wilfried Zaha but the goal was ruled out for the tightest of offsides after a VAR review.

Palace chairman Steve Parish was less than impressed after seeing his side have Mamadou Sakho's goal ruled out by VAR against Aston Villa on Sunday.

"Is the VAR broken?" Parish tweeted. "How can they look at Sakho 'handball' for minutes to make their 'mind up' and not even give that a glance! It's a stonewall nailed on penalty even the most one eyed Man U fan knows it."

United made sure of victory, vital after Leicester's 2-0 win over Sheffield United, when Bruno Fernandes and Rashford combined smartly to feed Martial who held off Scott Dann and drove in the second.

"It was a tight game and we didn't get the rhythm in our passing but two fantastic goals won it for us," said Solskjaer.

Palace, who have now lost six games in a row, suffered a blow when defender Patrick van Aanholt was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with Martial and sustaining what appeared to be a serious shoulder or arm injury.





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