More boos rang out from the Old Trafford stands as Manchester United fans saw their side held to a draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s men lost more ground on their top-four Premier League rivals as they suffered a frustrating afternoon in a performance that lacked energy and synergy.
Until perhaps the final 20 minutes, Crystal Palace were the more dangerous team, missing two or three glorious opportunities, and there may be some Eagles fans who will disappointed they didn’t sneak a victory against the below-par Red Devils.
Both teams had goals chalked off for offside, with Cheikhou Kouyate and Romelu Lukaku having their headers ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
But teams both had their goalkeepers to thank for a number of brilliant saves which kept it scoreless – although it was clear the home supporters were not happy about that fact when the full-time whistle was blown, as a chorus of boos rang out from the stands.
How did the United team perform individually? Scroll down for talkSPORT.com’s player ratings…
David De Gea – 7
Had little to do, but was there when called upon. The Spaniard dived superbly to his right to deny a strong shot from Kouyate, and then recovered to block Patrick van Aanholt’s follow-up attempt. Crystal Palace piled the pressure on United, but only managed two shots on target.
Matteo Darmian – 6
It might say everything that one of United’s best attacking players today was their right-back. The Italian had plenty of freedom on the right flank and produced a number of dangerous crosses into the box, but Palace’s dogged back-four were superb at swatting away the danger.
Chris Smalling – 4
Missed a glorious chance early in the first-half when, unmarked at the back post and with the goalkeeper stranded, he headed the ball wide from a corner. At least the only mistake he made was not in front of his own goal, this time.
Victor Lindelöf – 6
The Swede wasn’t troubled too much, although he did allow Andros Townsend to run through for a great scoring chance (which he missed, obviously). Was clearly injured towards the end of the game but, with all three subs used, kept going admirably and, limping, helped thwart a late Palace attack.
Ashley Young – 5
Found himself in acres of space on the left so many times, but didn’t make the most of it. Often delayed his cross to cut in and then send it with his right foot, which allowed Palace defenders to recover and then clear. United really missed Luke Shaw today, and who would have said that a few months ago?
Jesse Lingard (subbed on 59 mins) – 6
Provided United’s first real shot on goal in the first half, a low close-range effort from Juan Mata’s pass, which was well saved by Wayne Hennessey. Always a willing runner, but was capably marshalled by a well-drilled Palace back-four.
Nemanja Matic – 6
United’s midfield kingpin, Matic got to pretty much everything in midfield and was always an outlet to help spread play and keep possession – it’s just a shame he was let down by his attacking team-mates.
Paul Pogba (subbed on 68 mins) – 4
Another frustrating afternoon for the World Cup winner, who doesn’t seem to know where he is best suited to playing for United. He popped up in all sorts of positions and didn’t really do anything of note in any of them. A long-range shot which he drilled over the bar was his only moment of any note.
Juan Mata (subbed on 59 mins) – 5
Appears to be United’s only midfielder with any cutting edge in the final-third at the moment, but even he struggled to create today. His brilliant through-ball played in Lingard in the first-half, but the resulting shot was saved.
Anthony Martial – 6
Looked bereft of confidence, lacked a first-touch and often gave away possession. He did look bright with the ball at his feet, but his driving runs amounted to pretty much nothing. Should have done better with an open header in the first-half which was easily saved, and also shot wide in the closing stages when he should have hit the target at least.
Romelu Lukaku – 5
It’s clear to see why fans are at their wits end with the Belgian striker. It was another quiet game for the 25-year-old, although he did have a goal chalked out for offside and was close to a late winning goal with his head. Overall, though, he offered very little – and that is, perhaps, being kind.
SUB: Fellaini – 4
The new-look Belgian – who has shaved off his trademark fro – did little but add a bit more steel to United’s midfield. Could have caused serious injury to Luka Milivojevic when he caught him with a studs-up challenge.
SUB: Marcus Rashford – 6
The young Englishman brought a new sense of energy to the side when he came off the bench and was a big threat on the right wing. Had a late chance for a winner blocked. Why he didn’t start the game is a mystery.
SUB: Alexis Sanchez – 6
Helped link up attacking play better when he came on in the second-half, but he certainly doesn’t look the same player who won games almost single-handedly for Arsenal.