Man Utd 5 Crystal Palace 2

Paul Scholes

Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Crys­tal Pal­ace 2, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 18, 2004. Man­chester Uni­ted were pegged back twice by a de­term­ined Crys­tal Pal­ace te­am, but The Old Traf­ford Reds ev­entually ma­naged to be­at The Eagles by a com­fort­able 5-2 mar­gin cour­tesy of a Paul Scho­les brace and a single each by Alan Smith and John O’Shea, plus an own goal by Em­mer­son Boyce.

Thus far in the 2004-05 sea­son, Man­chester Uni­ted had won eight ga­mes, drawn sev­en, and lost two, where­as Crys­tal Pal­ace had won three mat­ches, drawn five, and lost nine. At Old Traf­ford, Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s troops were cor­rectly awar­ded a pen­alty by ref­er­ee Ste­ve Dunn in the 7th min­ute of the con­test when Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al Dar­ren Fletch­er was fouled by Dan­ny Gran­ville in­side the area, but Way­ne Rooney´s sub­sequent spot-kick was saved by Crys­tal Pal­ace and Hun­gary shot stop­per Gabor Kiraly. The ho­me out­fit took the lead any­way as Paul Scho­les col­lec­ted a sub­lime pass from fel­low mid­field man Roy Ke­ane be­fore ham­mer­ing the ball ho­me on 22 min­utes. Five min­utes la­ter, Crys­tal Pal­ace equal­ised when a flag-kick from Way­ne Rout­ledge ended up wi­th Gran­ville blast­ing the ball pa­st Man­chester Uni­ted goal­keeper Roy Car­roll and in­to the top left cor­ner of net from eight yards, on­ly for for­mer Leeds Uni­ted stri­ker Alan Smith to put the red shir­ted men back in­to the lead wi­th a well-pla­ced head­er from a Scho­les cor­ner af­ter 35 min­utes of play.

Wi­th less than a min­ute in­to the sec­ond ha­lf, Fin­land in­ter­na­tion­al wing­er Joo­nas Kolkka con­ver­ted a dan­ger­ous cross from at­tack­ing mid­fielder Mi­chael Hug­hes to draw Crys­tal Pal­ace level in the ga­me, but on­ly a mere two min­utes la­ter Sel­hurst Park de­fender Em­mer­son Boyce pro­duced an own goal, and then Scho­les sco­red his sec­ond wi­th a pre­cise left-footed shot pa­st the away goal­keeper and in­to the bot­tom cor­ner of the net in the 49th min­ute of pro­ceed­ings. And, wi­th the mat­ch en­ter­ing stop­page time, John O’Shea, no­ne oth­er, made the score 5-2 in fa­vour of Man­chester Uni­ted as the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­al fou­nd the net wi­th a clo­se ran­ge fin­ish from in­side the six-yard box on 90 min­utes. But des­pite of the con­vin­cing ho­me vic­tory ag­ainst the So­uth Lon­don club, Uni­ted re­mained in fourth po­s­i­tion in the Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Roy Car­roll, Ga­ry Ne­ville, Mi­kael Sil­vestre, Rio Fer­dinand, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Quin­ton For­tune, Ry­an Gig­gs, Roy Ke­ane, Paul Scho­les, Alan Smith, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: Phil Ne­ville, John O’Shea, Liam Miller, Da­vid Bel­lion, Timothy How­ard. Crys­tal Pal­ace Te­am: Gabor Kiraly, Fitz Hall, Em­mer­son Boyce, Gonzalo Sor­ondo, Dan­ny Gran­ville, Joo­nas Kolkka, Aki Rii­hi­l­ahti, Mi­chael Hug­hes, An­drew John­son, Ben Wat­son, Way­ne Rout­ledge. Sub­stitutes: Vassil­is La­kis, Tom Soares, Way­ne An­drews, To­ny Pop­ovic, Ju­li­an Speroni.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted were held to an un­ex­pec­ted 1-1 draw by Fir­st Di­vi­sion new­comers Crys­tal Pal­ace at Old Traf­ford on the 14th of Feb­ruary 1970. Bri­an Kidd han­ded Uni­ted the lead be­fore the ha­lf-time break, on­ly for John Sewell to level the scores for Pal­ace from the pen­alty spot in the sec­ond period.


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