LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United suffered fresh penalty woe as Marcus Rashford missed from the spot in their shock 2-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace last Saturday night.
Last Monday, United were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Wolves after Paul Pogba’s penalty was saved by Rui Patricio when the France star insisted on taking over spot-kick duties from Rashford.
But Rashford fared no better when he hit a post from the spot in the second half against Palace at Old Trafford, putting United on course for their first defeat of the Premier League season when Patrick van Aanholt grabbed the visitors’ winner in stoppage-time.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had sent out United’s first unchanged line-up in the Premier League since December 2017, but that group produced a tame first-half performance as Palace took the lead in the 32nd minute.
Palace keeper Vicente Guaita thumped the ball upfield and Jeffrey Schlupp flicked on to Jordan Ayew, who was played onside by the slow-to-react Harry Maguire as he side-footed past David de Gea for Palace’s first goal of the season.
When Scott McTominay was fouled, Rashford, who had scored a penalty against Chelsea in the first game of the campaign, took the ball as Pogba looked on, but the England striker’s spot-kick cannoned back off the woodwork.
Former Swansea midfielder Daniel James looked to have spared Rashford’s blushes when he bagged his second goal for United with a fine finish in the 89th minute.
But a terrible blunder by United ‘keeper De Gea proved decisive in the third minute of stoppage-time as the Spaniard allowed van Aanholt’s shot to squeeze under him at the near post.
It was Palace’s first league win over United since May 1991 and their first league victory at Old Trafford since December 1989.
“Two games, two missed penalties. It’s part and parcel of it. If we keep putting ourselves in those positions we will get more penalties and we will score,” Solskjaer said.
“We have dominated the game but we have not controlled it. We weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. We defended poorly at times and it cost us.”