Man Utd 5 Crystal Palace 2
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.