A controversial Robin van Persie penalty helped Manchester United on their way to a 2-0 win over a stubborn Crystal Palace side. The win gave new boss David Moyes a first home league victory at Old Trafford.
Palace boss Ian Holloway watched from the stands as he served the first of a two-game touchline ban. His were determined and although they invited a lot of pressure they kept Manchester United at bay for large spells.
At the end of a quiet first half came a late flurry of activity, with Van Persie smashing a shot against the bar after a neat pass from Wayne Rooney. Winger Ashley Young then ran through on goal but was knocked down by the onrushing Kagisho Dikgacoi.
Palace fans may believe that the challenge came from outside the area although a penalty was given with a red card also coming for Dikgacoi.
Palace felt wronged by the decision although they re-grouped and continued to be resilient.
However, United were going for goals and came very close. A Young shot was parried by Speroni before debutant Marouane Fellaini’s shot was also saved.
Rooney eventually managed to extend their lead, a magnificent 25-yard free kick dipping over the wall and beating Speroni.
The win extends United’s run of nearly 12 years unbeaten on home soil against newly-promoted teams.
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