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Andrew McSteen’s four takeaways from Crystal Palace’s 4-0 demolition of Manchester United – Enjoy it while you can?

Crystal Palace made it four wins in five, with their first-ever league double over Manchester United, thanks to a comprehensive and one-sided 4-0 win under the Monday night lights at Selhurst Park.

A porous and depleted Manchester United defence allowed both Ebere Eze and Michael Olise the run of SE25 with Olise particularly a threat.

His opener on 12 minutes saw him breeze through the middle of the Red Devils side to slot home, with Jean-Philippe Mateta continuing his goalscoring run just before half-time.

Tyrick Mitchell scored early on in the second half to make it 3-0, while Olise was rewarded with a second with just under 30 minutes remaining to make it 4-0.

Here are Andrew McSteen’s four takeaways from Selhurst Park:


Since starting his Crystal Palace career with a 3-0 win against Burnley at home in February, Oliver Glasner’s SE25 record is played six, won four, drawn one and lost one, scoring 17 goals and conceding seven.

The fact that the loss and four of those goals conceded were against the current Premier League, Club World Championship and Champions League title-holders – and club which have been charged with 115 breaches of Premier League regulations – Manchester City is no disgrace.

Under previous manager Roy Hodgson, the Eagles had played 12 on home soil, winning three, drawing three and losing six, scoring 15 and conceding 17.

Has Glasner turned SE25 into a fortress finally?


Speaking to Palace fans before the game there was supreme confidence that not only would their side not lose, they would win.

This confidence has coincided with the attacking intent of the team since Glasner came in, but also with the return of Michael Olise and Ebere Eze from injury to be on the pitch together.

To watch these two create magic is a throw-back to when Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha were at the top of their game in recent years.

Speaking to Eze’s and Olise’s teammates after the 4-0 victory result on Monday, the set-up sounds easy. “I just try to get them on the ball as much as possible and let them do their thing,” said Adam Wharton to me after the game.

This highlights just how important the team ethic is, the hard work and planning to get the ball to them, something Glasner stresses continuously despite the constant questioning about just how good these two are.

And with constant speculation about the possible summer departure of one or both of them, Palace fans may be resigned to watching them together in just two more games. “We’re just enjoying them while we can,” said one fan to me after the game.

But with the new direction and impetus that Glasner has brought in and his team now looking upwards rather than downwards, would another progressive season in South London with the pair leading the team be too much to ask?


At the risk of this turning into a ‘How good is Adam Wharton?’ column, once again, the midfielder was not only a key element in the victory but highlighted once again his innate understanding of the game.

When covering matches, I always make a point of watching things around the game as well—the players walking onto the pitch, warm-ups, and walking off the pitch, for example—as it can help with your reporting and add details or things that maybe the TV did not pick up.

One such moment happened on Monday.

With their side 2-0 up and cruising, the half-time whistle blew and Adam Wharton and Jean-Philippe Mateta walked off the pitch in deep discussion together.

Wharton, seven years younger and 77 Premier League appearances fewer than Mateta, was simulating a pitch and two players’ positions on it with his hands to the French striker, who was listening intently and concentrating. The conversation continued all the way to the tunnel.

“It was just talking about being out of possession and trying to stop them (Manchester United) playing into their two sixes (defensive midfielders), as they had fullbacks coming in,” said Wharton to me after the game when I asked him what they were talking about.

“They sort of overloaded the middle and [the talk] was just trying to stop them from playing through the middle, trying to get them around us where it doesn’t hurt as much because when it comes through the middle, that’s where the goal is, so it’s more dangerous.”

This attention to detail and passion is by no means limited to Wharton, it was just that we saw a player discuss it so clearly, and this has not gone unnoticed by Glasner either.

“He understands football,” said Glasner in reference to Wharton’s analysis at the break. “He knows what we want to do, he knows where we want to go and he knows where the space is. It shows his mentality and character, when a 20-year-old guy talks to JP Mateta, but also that JP is listening to him. This is the environment I really like as a manager.”

And, like he does on the pitch, Wharton made it all sound so easy. “If everyone’s on the same page, everyone knows what they need to do. And if you know what other people are going to do it makes it easy for everyone.”

Wharton could quite possibly be one of the most important signings the club has made in this Premier League era and it is a privilege to watch his continued development first-hand.


There is a feeling that ‘Palace always perform well under the lights’, but that is not always the case.

Losses at home against Arsenal in August and Chelsea, plus a draw away at Everton – both in February – saw Palace winless in these made for TV games.

But, finally, the spectacle of the Eagles playing under the floodlights on a Monday night paid off – in their fourth game at the beginning of the week this season, they finally won and showed the average, sitting-room fan just what is happening down in South London under Glasner.

While the games have been a spectacle for the TV cameras in terms of the event, let’s never forget that away fans – particularly those as loyal as the Manchester United ones – had to travel down to London not only on a Monday night but a Bank Holiday Monday.

Then they had to try and get home, ready for the working week the following day, with the game finishing past 10pm – and with a nationwide train strike the next day.

I enjoyed the spectacle as much as anyone, but this is yet again more evidence of fans continuously being sidelined by TV for the event and audience, rather than the game and crowd.

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