There was never any doubt Manchester United would leave Old Trafford as the winners of the early kick-off match, but with talents like Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney on the team, it’s a shame that a referee was the one mostly remembered from the match, giving the home team a huge, unjustified boost once again.
Crystal Palace looked able during the first half of which they did a good defensive job in keeping Manchester United from entering the box freely, but still Robin van Persie managed to miss a couple of comfortable chances, including one set up beautifully by Wayne Rooney, as David Moyes, just like his predecessor, made his injury look a lot worse than it actually is in order to hide the fact that he’ll start him as soon as possible.
Manchester United players were frustrated. Ashley Young was booked for diving, and Patrice Evra should have been for the same offense. But at the end of the half, a terrible piece of refereeing from Jonathan Moss ended the match. Ashley Young dove again, which gave United a penalty (Even though the “foul” was outside the box) and Kagisho Dikgacoi was sent off. Robin van Persie finally got a chance he couldn’t miss, and the rest is history.
Wayne Rooney, once again the most industrious of the Manchester United players, deserved his goal, his first of the season. A clever free kick to the corner, with his team easily controlling the match against a worn out Crystal Palace side, who barely made it past the halfway line in the final 30 minutes.
Ashley Young actually played well among the controversy during the second half, but he wasn’t far from getting sent off for a couple of borderline fouls that outside of Old Trafford would have gotten him a harsher treatment. It keyed the debut of Marouane Fellaini, who looked a lot better than Anderson, who is one of the players who keeps getting chances to prove he still deserves a spot on the team, but hasn’t made a case for himself in a very long time.
Fellaini had one chance that almost made the stadium erupt, but his shot was too flat and too predictable for Julian Speroni, parrying the ball well. The rest was about control and dominance in the midfield, which Fellaini should bring plenty of, not to mention his aerial threat in corners. He’s better than anything United have to offer at the position.
The Shinji Kagawa mystery continues, with a flu (???) this time keeping him from showing up on the bench. If truth be told, David Moyes’ tactics make it very hard to see where Kagawa would fit in. He isn’t a winger, and not strong enough to be one of the midfield duo. The only other player he can start for is Wayne Rooney, but the Englishman has his place in the lineup locked and loaded at the moment.
It’s too bad Wilfried Zaha continues to be ignored, as Moyes opts to use Antonio Valencia and Nani on the right wing, without getting too much attacking creativity or efficiency from the two. Adnan Januzaj looked impressive during his minutes on the pitch, but the bad taste in everyone’s mouth due to Moss’ decisions made Moyes’ debut win at the Old Trafford less than a joyous occasion.