Crystal Palace vs Manchester United: The Eagles handed the Red Devils one more humbling defeat to end the 2021-22 Premier League season at Selhurst Park on Championship Sunday.
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Manchester United (58 points) entered the day only needing to match West Ham United’s (56 points) result to finish 6th and qualify for next season’s Europa League, and they did just that, backing into Europe’s second-tier competition on anything but their own merit.
As for Crystal Palace (48 points), a 12th-place finish in Patrick Vieira’s first season — a season which began with so much transition — is a superb outcome.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester United final score, stats, results
Final score: Crystal Palace 1, Manchester United 0
Goal scorers: Crystal Palace (Zaha 37′), Manchester United (None)
Shots: Crystal Palace 6, Manchester United 10
Shots on target: Crystal Palace 3, Manchester United 4
Possession: Crystal Palace 39%, Manchester United 61%
2 things we learned – Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
1. Now, the fun begins for Vieira: Having turned over half the squad out of necessity last summer, Crystal Palace entered the 2021-22 season as one of the toughest sides to forecast. Now, having pushed for a top-half finish until the final week of the season, a new foundation has been laid, upon which the next Crystal Palace side can be built. Vieira can be more precise and targeted with his tactical and transfer plans. Conor Gallagher is likely to be a Chelsea first-team player next season, leaving a massive hole in the midfield for Vieira to fill, but Eberechi Eze’s return (achilles) will effectively hand Crystal Palace a new signing, and one we already know pairs well with Zaha, with a full preseason to reach maximum to fitness and sharpness.
2. Where to begin with Man United: Does Cristiano Ronaldo return for another season at Old Trafford, to play in the Europa League, for a side that’s unlikely to make a giant leap forward in just one year? Will Jadon Sancho feature more prominently in Erik ten Haag’s plans next season, or will the $100-million youngster be an afterthought for yet another manager? Will it be another season of Scott McTominay and Fred manning the midfield together? How much say will Ten Haag be given over transfers (both incoming and outgoing) this summer, and for the long term? Those are just a few of the questions which must be answered over the next nine weeks.