Thursday 15 December 2016

Crystal Palace 1 Man United 2: Pogba And Ibrahimovic Are The Heroes

Premier League

Almost 12 months ago his Chelsea team were beaten 2-1 by Leicester and Mourinho got the sack not long afterwards.

But his luck seemed to have turned in South London after Pogba put Manchester United ahead just before half-time – then he beautifully set up the winner for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 88th minute.

Pogba’s goal came following a chipped free-kick into the box by Juan Mata, which was helped on by Ibrahimovic, mainly by his left wrist.

It fell perfectly for France international midfielder Pogba, courtesy of a slight deflection off Joel Ward.

The £89m man fired home from close range but replays showed he was clearly offside.

The decision to allow the goal to stand saw the Crystal Palace crowd turn on ref Craig Pawson, who earlier allowed Marcos Rojo to escape with a yellow card for a wild, two-footed challenge on Wilfried Zaha.

The tackle on Zaha was almost an exact replica of the one at Goodison less than a fortnight ago, but yet again Rojo somehow escaped being sent off.

It took some time before United threatened, with Pogba chipping a fine ball into the box in the 37th minute for Wayne Rooney to swivel onto and hit on the half-volley with his left foot.

He did not connect perfectly and Wayne Hennessey was able to block the effort down to his left.

Creator Pogba then showed his eye for goal, volleying a precise chip to him in the box by Michael Carrick, with Hennessey again doing well to block.

At half-time Joe Ledley came on to replace Mathieu Flamini and was soon in the action, sending a well-struck drive just wide.

His effort, though, was nothing compared to a swerving 25-yard drive from James McArthur, which United keeper David De Gea tipped over brilliantly with one hand.

It showed the Eagles were at last trying to soar – and when they equalised in the 66th minute it was with a goal of pure class.

Ward played a ball in from the left and Damien Delaney played a brilliant flick which presented McArthur with a site of goal – and he struck his shot again with real venom and De Gea had no chance.

Palace looked like hanging on to a point until Pogba showed his class again and set up Ibrahimovic for the goal that capped a lucky night for Mourinho.



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