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Match Reports

Palace 0-1 Blades - report

1 February 2020

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United remained unbeaten in the capital after Vicente Guaita's own goal gave the Blades a 1-0 success against Crystal Palace.

In a tight encounter it was the 'keeper's blunder which settled the contest in the second half as he carried Ollie Norwood's corner over his own line under no pressure.

The Blades had the better of the chances and stifled any late Palace pressure to once again record a clean sheet and complete a league double over the Eagles.

Blades boss Wilder handed record signing Sander Berge a full debut after the Norwegian international joined the Blades on Thursday. Berge was part of just one change from the last league outing against Manchester City after the ex-Genk ace replaced Mo Bešić.

The opening 10 minutes were largely uneventful, but United almost created an opportunity when a deep cross was headed into a good area by Oli McBurnie but it was just too high for Berge who made a late break into the box.

Berge was almost presented with another opportunity on 12 minutes. George Baldock made progress down the right, cutting back inside to buy himself some space. He rolled his pass back to Norwood whose low cross was controlled by McBurnie into the path of Berge, but he was quickly shut down as he was about to shoot.

Baldock was the first into the book on 18 minutes when he pulled back Wilfried Zaha, and shortly after the winger cut a low cross into the area which was cleared only as far as Luka Milivojevic, but the Palace midfielder smashed his effort over the bar.

James Tomkins was the first Palace player into the book after he chopped down John Fleck. Shortly after Palace created the first half-chance when a bursting run from Jordan Ayew created an opening for Christian Benteke, but the ex-Liverpool striker hammered his effort into the side netting.

James McArthur's effort from distance was easily held by Henderson, before Billy Sharp collided with Tomkins which resulted in a VAR referral for foul play which was quickly waved away.

On 35 minutes there was a let off for Baldock as he committed another foul on Zaha. Despite fury in the stands, referee Andy Madley kept his cards in his pocket despite some protests from the hosts.

Zaha continued to be a thorn in United's side, this time sticking in a dangerous early low cross right along the United six-yard area but there was no touch as Henderson watched it behind for a goal kick.

At the start of the second half Fleck saw a long-range effort blocked by Tomkins whilst Benteke scuffed a low shot straight at Henderson.

With United just starting to step up to another level, there was a helping hand from the Palace 'keeper as the Blades took lead on 58 minutes.

After some good combination play between McBurnie, Fleck and Sharp, the latter's cross from the by-line was deflected behind off a Palace defender. The resulting Norwood corner looked right down the throat of GUAITA, but the stopper dropped the ball over his line much to United's delight.

Guaita was quickly called into action again as Baldock was felled close to the area. Norwood stepped forward to curl an effort over the wall, but this time the Palace 'keeper clawed the ball to safety.

Henderson was called into action for the first time as Zaha pulled a low cross back for James McCarthy to shoot, but his effort was parried by the United custodian.

Boss Wilder freshened up his ranks by bringing on Lys Mousset for Sharp, and shortly after John Lundstram came on for Berge.

There was drama on 72 minutes when Joel Ward was handed a straight red for a challenge on Enda Stevens. After the decision went to VAR, referee Madley went to the pitch side screen and downgraded his decision to a yellow.

Inside the final 10 minutes and United created a wonderful opportunity to double the advantage. It was all about Stevens who surged forward before playing a neat one-two with Mousset to put him clear on goal, but his effort with the outside of his left boot was saved one-handed by Guaita diving to his left.

Stevens looked a good bet to score again with two minutes remaining. As Mousset took aim from the edge of the area, his effort took a wicked deflection re-bounding kindly into the path of the unmarked Irishman, but he turned his volley wide of the near post.

Wilder's side comfortably saw out any late pressure, which included six minutes of stoppage time, to celebrate yet another away day success.

Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Milivojevic, McCarthy (Meyer 80'), McArthur (Kouyaté 86'), Zaha, Benteke (Townsend 75'), Ayew.
Unused: Hennessey, Kelly, Dann, Riedewald.

Blades: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, McBurnie (Osborn 90'), Sharp (Mousset 64'), Egan, Norwood, Berge (Lundstram 67').
Unused: L. Freeman, Jagielka, Robinson, Verrips.


As it happened...

15:00
We're underway.

2'
Frantic start to the game with Palace having most of the ball until McBurnie commits the first foul. 0-0.

3'
Benteke into a shooting position. His shot is blocked but the flag had already been raised, he's a couple of yards offside. 0-0.

4'
Cross into the back post where McBurnie rises and heads into a dangerous area but just over the head of Sander Berge and Palace clear. 0-0.

7'
James McArthur dances towards the edge of the area after some patient build up play. He plays it wide to Wilfried Zaha but his cross is to no-one in particular and United clear. 0-0.

10'
More patient stuff from Palace as they work the ball side-to-side but again the end product sees Dean Henderson make a comfortable claim. 0-0.

12'
Baldock makes himself a yard of room down the right, he lays the ball back towards Ollie Norwood. His low cross is rolled into McBurnie whose touch almost provides a shooting chance for Berge but he's quickly shut down. 0-0.

15'
Henderson comes a long way to gather a corner, there's no real danger as he almost loses control of the ball, with Norwood on hand to clear. 0-0.

18'
First yellow is issued to Baldock as he pulled back Zaha. The Blades clear the resulting free-kick.

20'
Zaha twisting and turning down the Palace left as Baldock sticks to his task. The winger eventually digs out a low cross which is cleared only as far as Milivojevic who smashes an effort well over. 0-0.

24'
James Tomkins now booked for Palace for chopping down John Fleck.

24'
The resulting free-kick from Norwood is straight into the hands of Guaita. 0-0.

25'
First real half-chance and it goes to the hosts.

Jordan Ayew's bursting run sets up an opportunity for Christian Benteke but he fires into the side netting. 0-0.

28'
This game yet to get going really, neither side taking a firm grip on proceedings. 0-0.

30'
Some neat build up down the Palace left involving Benteke opens up a chance for McArthur but his weak effort is straight into the arms of Henderson. 0-0.

31'
Got a VAR here as Sharp collides with Tomkins no more action.

35'
Problem here for Baldock who is on a booking. He's committed another foul on Zaha and despite the cries from the Palace players and supporters, there's no further action. 0-0.

38'
Stevens down the United left attempts a cross which goes behind off a Palace defender for a corner. It is taken short before being whipped into the near post but Gary Cahill is there to head clear for the hosts. 0-0.

40'
Palace aim a corner towards the back post looking for Cahill but he's crowded out meaning it's a poor connection and Henderson picks up the loose ball. 0-0.

41'
Zaha again causing problems for United, this time by putting in a dangerous low cross right across the six-yard box but there's no touch and it rolls behind for a goal kick. 0-0.

45'
Palace again down their left as Zaha finds Ayew whose low cross just evades Benteke. 0-0.

45'
One added minute.

15:46
Half time

Crystal Palace 0-0 Blades

Quiet half so far with no real clear cut chances.

16:01
We're back underway here at Selhurst Park...

47'
Fleck advances forward before unleashing a shot from 25 yards but his effort is blocked by Tomkins.

48'
At the other end a swift break from Palace sees Benteke scuff a low effort which is easily held by Henderson. He had perhaps better options to his left. 0-0.

50'
Basham down having treatment after a clash of heads. He's being bandaged up by the medical team to allow him to continue.

53'
Berge loses it in midfield allowing Ayew to drive forward but his low effort is blocked by John Egan and United clear. 0-0.

55'
McArthur now down after a clash with Egan. They'll be some injury time at the end of this one...

57'
GOAL!!!!!

McBurnie, Fleck and Sharp combine with the latter's low cross going out for a corner.

Norwood then delivers and Guaita looks to make a routine claim but he drops it over the line! 0-1 United.

61'
Curling Norwood free-kick is heading towards the top corner but Guaita claws it away. 0-1.

64'
Henderson called into action for the first time as James McCarthy was found by Zaha but his effort was pushed clear by the Blades stopper. 0-1.

64'
First change for United as Sharp is replaced by Mousset.

67'
Palace stepping things up as Henderson palms clear a Ayew cross. 0-1.

67'
Yellow for Milivojevic after a challenge on McBurnie.

67'
Second change for United as John Lundstram replaces Berge.

68'
Now Fleck booked for a late one on Zaha.

70'
Close again for Palace as McCarthy's cross is headed wide by Tomkins. 0-1.

72'
Straight red for Joel Ward here after an incident with Stevens!

It was given for a challenge over the ball and after a VAR check, the official is now going to the screen...

Andy Madley has had a look and has downgraded his decision to a yellow.

75'
Benteke is replaced by Andros Townsend.

79'
Lundstram cross is flicked behind for a corner.

Fleck's corner is right on the head of McBurnie but the whistle has gone for a foul by Egan at the near post. 0-1.

80'
Second change for Palace as Max Meyer is on for McCarthy.

82'
Brilliant from Stevens who surges forward before playing a one-two with Mousset, he's in on goal but Guaita does well to make a save low to his left. 0-1.

85'
Really dangerous low cross from Norwood looking for McBurnie, but Cahill is there to put it behind for a corner.

Fleck's corner was headed down by McBurnie and Egan fires over on the turn. 0-1.

86'
Final Palace change as McArthur is off and Cheikhou Kouyaté is on.

88'
Big chance for United as Mousset's deflected shot falls kindly for Stevens at the back post but he scuiffs it wide. 0-1.

90'
Six added minutes.

90+2'
Van Aanholt with a brace of corners for Palace. The latter is cleared as United come under late pressure. 0-1.

90+3'
Zaha strike blocked by Basham.

90+4'
Palace take a quick free-kick, Baldock puts it behind for a corner. In comes the cross, there's no clean contact and Henderson gathers the loose ball. 0-1.

90+5'
Final change for United as McBurnie is replaced by Ben Osborn.

16:54
Full time

Crystal Palace 0-1 Blades

There's the full-time whistle, more success in the capital for United as a Vicente Guaita own goal gives the Blades all three points.


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