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Adam Sells’ takeaways as Crystal Palace win at Manchester United – History-maker Hodgson as tactically sharp as ever

Joachim Andersen’s fine finish earned Crystal Palace a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Saturday.

Here are Adam Sells’ takeaways from the fixture at Old Trafford.


The old master was at it again. With a depleted squad, shorn of no less than eight players, Roy managed to find a way.

After the midweek EFL Cup capitulation, few that made the journey to Manchester for a second time would have travelled with a huge expectancy given the strength of the options at Roy Hodgson’s disposal.

The bench featured five players that had one Premier League start between them, but the clever Palace boss set up his team to frustrate Manchester United and stay in the game.

It was the classic away performance.

Hodgson has become the first manager in the Premier League to go five unbeaten at Old Trafford, winning three and drawing two.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson reacts after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday September 30, 2023.


 Character and determination were in abundance here.

A group that could have gone into the game feeling sorry for themselves dug deep and stuck to the task admirably.

This was very much a ‘backs to the wall’ display underpinned by huge defensive discipline.

An incredible number of blocked shots around the box, timely interceptions, some excellent goalkeeping from Sam Johnstone and a decent helping from Lady Luck saw the visitors triumph.

Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell made memorable last-ditch efforts to deny United as Palace stood tall, but this was a huge team effort, one that each of the loyal travelling contingent could be really proud of.


Palace’s very own ‘Great Dane’ was at his imperious best on Saturday. It is hard to think of a better ‘footballing’ central defender that has played for the club.

Andersen has proved himself to be a Rolls Royce of a player since joining the Eagles two years ago and his performance in the Manchester rain had a bit of everything. Calm in possession, measured defending, a tremendous passing range were all standout features. But that’s nothing new. Those that watch him every week would recognise his outstanding level of consistency.

The coup de grâce came with Andersen’s 25th-minute winning goal, the finish of a world-class centre forward. An adroit side foot finish from 15 yards finding the top corner.

This was Andersen’s second goal of the season, having previously netted at Brentford to secure a point at the end of August.

Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze (left) has a shot at goal during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday September 30, 2023.


 Seven games in, there’s no doubt that Roy Hodgson is overachieving with the squad and the number of injuries he has had to contend with so far.

 As commendable as this is, it is tinged with frustration of what is might have been had the group been strengthened during the summer.

Hodgson has found a way to make it work but would some additional attacking options have seen some of those of those points dropped, turned into draws or victories, that would have seen the Eagles pushing those in the Champions League spots currently.

The defeat against Arsenal, when Palace played more than a quarter of game against 10 men without being able to register a shot on target and the draw at Brentford – when a spirited second half may have brought more – spring to mind.

They also fell victim to an unfathomable penalty call from Darren England at Villa Park a couple of weeks ago – which would have surely seen them add a further point to their total.

With a fantastic manager, who seems to find a way, and a raft of players that would be at home playing in the Champions League, this really was the time to push on.

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