Manchester United v Crystal Palace: Premier League – live!

The Guardian
The Guardian
Premier League - Manchester United v Crystal Palace<br>Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - December 5, 2021 Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha in action with Manchester United's Fred REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

2.17pm GMT

15 min: Palace win a corner, they take it short, and Zaha smacks it towards the far post. But the cross is overhit and goes over everybody - a waste of a really good attacking opporutunity for Vieira’s men.

2.14pm GMT

12 min: Rashford wins a free-kick just outside the area, on the Manchester United left. Ronaldo lines it up, with Fernandes also looking interested. But of course it’s Ronaldo who hits it, taking his time before doing so and letting the crowd build themselves into a froth of anticipation. It’s a sweet strike over the wall but is always going high over the bar. A positive start for the hosts, anyway.

Updated at 2.15pm GMT

2.11pm GMT

8 min: Manchester United push Palace back again. The visitors’ penalty area is packed with yellow-shirted defenders. Ronaldo finds himself with the space to whip a shot in the direction of the far post, but his effort flies well wide ... Palace take possession down to the other end and Benteke has a shot from outside the box which is straight at De Gea.

Updated at 2.12pm GMT

2.10pm GMT

7 min: A half-chance for Benteke at the other end, a glimpse of goal for the Palace forward from the corner of the six-yard box, but the flag was up for offside.

2.08pm GMT

6 min: Again, fierce Manchester United pressing wins possession back high up the field for the home team. Ronaldo shows good pace and mobility to play his part in taking the ball back ... the footballing equivalent of leaving a juicy, ripe apple on Ralf Rangnick’s desk.

Updated at 2.08pm GMT

2.07pm GMT

4 min: Good pressing from Manchester United (which certainly hasn’t always been the case in recent weeks and months) wins it back high from Palace. Ronaldo soon has a shot which deflects out for another Manchester United corner.

2.05pm GMT

3 min: Marcus Rashford is released down the United left, and is brough down by Tompkins, but instead of a free-kick it’s a corner. From the resulting set piece, Telles cracks a shot just wide from the edge of the box! Guaita watches it sail past his left-hand post, but I’m not sure he had it covered.

2.04pm GMT

2 min: Benteke tries to link with Zaha for Palace early doors, but Kouyate, who started the move, has gone down injured after a challenge in midfield from Fred.

Updated at 2.04pm GMT

2.01pm GMT

First half kick-off!

The players (and coaches) take the knee, uniting against racism and all forms of discrimination – and we’re off!

Updated at 2.02pm GMT

1.57pm GMT

Wayne “Wazza” Rooney has just taken his place in the directors’ box at Old Trafford. The teams are about to come out on to the pitch. The Rangnick era is about to begin.

Updated at 1.57pm GMT

1.53pm GMT

Wilfried Zaha captains Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this afternoon.

1.46pm GMT

Control, control, control: Ralf Rangnick’s mantra regarding what Manchester United are missing was also an apt characterisation of a 63-year-old who having just strode into a behemoth global football club oozed calm and clarity during his first media conference as their interim manager.

Related: Smart Rangnick seeks balancing act for United side with ‘abundance’ of talent | Jamie Jackson

1.41pm GMT

A bit of other team news: Ivan Toney of Brentford has tested positive for Covid-19, and misses their trip to Leeds as a result.

1.40pm GMT

“There was no reason to change the team [after the win over Arsenal] ... they need to enjoy it,” says Rangnick:

1.37pm GMT

Klopp, Tuchel, Rangnick and the Premier League’s Germanification

By Andy Brassell:

“Rangnick ... inadvertently shook German football culture in December 1998 when giving a de facto seminar on a tactics board on the Saturday night institution Das Aktuelle Sportstudio , the German equivalent of Match of the Day .”

Related: Klopp, Tuchel, Rangnick and the Premier League’s Germanification | Andy Brassell

1.27pm GMT

Pre-match reading, part one, from Richard Jolly:

Related: Moderniser Rangnick aims to drag Manchester United out of the past

Updated at 1.27pm GMT

1.17pm GMT


Manchester United are unchanged from the side that defeated Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday, while there are two changes for Crystal Palace, with Nathaniel Clyne and Christian Benteke coming in, at full-back and up front respectively.

Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Alex Telles, McTominay, Fred, Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo. Subs: Bailly, Jones, Mata, Greenwood, Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, van de Beek, Elanga.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Tomkins, Guehi, Mitchell, Schlupp, Kouyate, Gallagher, Ayew, Benteke, Zaha. Subs: Butland, Milivojevic, Olise, Eze, Hughes, Mateta, Edouard, Kelly, Riedewald.

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Updated at 2.12pm GMT

1.00pm GMT


Is Cristiano Ronaldo an expensive liability or a gegenpressing goal machine? Is Harry Maguire a League One-level clogger or a Franz Beckenbauer-in-waiting? Are Manchester United a serious football club or more a social media content provider? These are some of the questions Ralf Rangnick will need to answer during his time at Manchester United, however long it may last: his insistence on a two-year consultancy deal is a bit like the club’s top management being put on special measures by their new employee.

Another pertinent question: Do players lose you games, or tactics? One wonders if, in all the excitement, Rangnick had time to watch Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea fall at West Ham yesterday largely due to a succession of glaring individual errors. After much hype and speculation, this afternoon we’ll have the first tangible evidence of what the ‘godfather of gegenpressing’ is going to bring to Manchester United and the Premier League.

There is no shortage of plots and sub-plots as far as Manchester United are concerned, then, and post-Roy Hodgson Crystal Palace are writing an interesting story of their own this season. Patrick Vieira’s fresh approach has energised the squad, with Conor Gallagher bossing the midfield at times, and it is not too long since they came to Manchester and bloodied the noses of Pep Guardiola and City . This, no matter what happens, is going to be worth watching.

Pre-match reading, team news and much more coming up.

Kick-off: 2pm

Updated at 1.04pm GMT

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