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NEMANJA MATIC’S stunning stoppage-time half-volley broke Palace hearts as United overcame the Eagles at Selhurst Park.
The visitors began poorly in the opening stages and the Eagles took a deserved lead through Andros Townsend.
The winger’s curled effort deflected off a helpless Victor Lindelof and flew into the top corner, giving David De Gea no chance.
The Swedish centre-back noted his manager’s unhappiness at half-time and explained how Mourinho urged his team to give him more movement.
“He wanted us to move more, make it more difficult for them and get balls in behind the midfield.”
“We didn’t start the second half good, but in the end we scored three goals and are obviously very happy,” said the defender.
Despite Mourinho’s instructions, United were caught napping after the interval. A quick free kick by Jeffrey Schlupp led to Patrick van Aanholt facing De Gea one-on-one and coolly slotting past the Spaniard to double Palace’s lead and send Selhurst Park into a frenzy.
Chris Smalling briefly silenced the crowd, pulling one back for the visitors shortly afterwards, and a sense of nervousness slowly spread among the home faithful.
The equaliser came courtesy of Romelu Lukaku with 10 minutes remaining. Alexis Sanchez saw his shot ricochet off the underside of the bar and the Belgian was on hand to eventually put it in.
The killer goal came in stoppage time. Matic’s wonderful strike drew praise from Roy Hodgson as the Palace boss reflected on a cruel defeat.
“I felt really sad for them. I can’t criticise any player or person for the effort they put in. Matic scores a worldy from 25-30 metres which leaves our goalkeeper chanceless,” he said.
“If that ball had hit the cross bar or gone wide of the goal, I’d have been sitting here saying well done boys and what a good point.
“As it is you lose, so everything gets changed as a result. We all know the analysis of a football match starts with results.”
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