Manchester United secured a fortuitous 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford thanks to a second-half goal from substitute Juan Mata.
The hosts ended the first half with 74 per cent possession, but managed just one meaningful shot on target: Luke Shaw with the effort following a fabulous run from his own half.
It was Palace who had the best opportunity to take the lead in the opening 45 minutes when a mistake between Paddy McNair and Daley Blind put Fraizer Campbell one-on-one with David de Gea, who watched in relief as the former United striker lobbed his shot over the bar.
United’s frustrations continues into the second half, before Mata put United ahead with a shot which should have been saved by Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.
David de Gea: 6
The Spaniard was a virtual spectator. Crystal Palace only had one shot on target, so a quiet afternoon for the Manchester United number one.
Antonio Valencia: 6
Worked hard to get up and down the right touchline. Steady but unspectacular display from the makeshift right-back.
Paddy McNair: 6.5
Moment of uncertainty almost cost United a goal in the first half, but other than that this was another reasonably impressive display from the inexperienced 19-year-old.
Daley Blind: 6.5
Deployed in central defence with so many of United’s centre-backs out injured, the Dutchman didn’t look comfortable alongside McNair - perhaps unsurprisingly.
Luke Shaw: 7.5
The England international made one fantastic run in the first half and forced a great save from Julian Speroni with the resulting shot. Defensively solid and happy to fly forward, Shaw continues to get better and better.
Marouane Fellaini: 7
The Belgian continues to rebuild his reputation. Decent performance by the much-maligned midfielder, who had a header cleared off the line in the second half.
Michael Carrick: 7
Considering this was Carrick’s first start of the season, the central midfielder produced a fine display in the middle of the park. Passing was typically crisp and accurate. Van Gaal made the right decision to play him in midfield, rather than in defence.
Adnan Januzaj: 4.5
Disappointing afternoon for the young Belgian. Wasteful with the ball and tried to do too much at times. Subbed off for Juan Mata with half-hour remaining.
Angel di Maria: 6
Quiet afternoon for the most expensive player in British football history. Di Maria has not been at his brilliant best in recent weeks, and today was no different. He did, however, provide the pass which led to Mata’s goal. Subbed off with 20 minutes remaining for James Wilson.
Wayne Rooney: 7
Busy all afternoon, but arguably better in his natural position - centre forward - rather than the deeper role in which he was deployed today. Always at the heart of the action for the Red Devils.
Robin van Persie: 5.5
The Dutchman still looks a shadow of his former self. Have we seen the best of Robin van Persie? This performance adds further weight to the argument that he’s now in decline.
Juan Mata: 7
Scored the all-important goal after coming off the bench, although Speroni should have saved the shot.
James Wilson: 6
Came on for the final 20 minutes and looked lively.
Darren Fletcher: N/A
Sent on in stoppage time in place of Paddy McNair.
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