Manchester United defender Chris Smalling delivered a sterling performance to help us defeat Crystal Palace 3-2 on Monday in the Premier League.
After we were down 2-0 early on during the second half, it looked as though United were heading for a defeat.
Andros Townsend, who usually nets from outside the box, scored the first one after 11 minutes, thanks to a deflection off Victor Lindelof, after the winger was not closed down by Ashley Young. Left-back Patrick Van Aanholt scored the second after being played in from a quick free-kick.
However, Smalling triggered the comeback as the centre-back pulled one back by powering home a header from Antonio Valencia’s cross to make it 2-1 after 55 minutes.
As we defended poorly during the opening 50 minutes, it looked unlikely that a United defender would go on and win the Man of the Match award, however, Smalling overcame the odds as he went on to win the award on that day.
Romelu Lukaku showed some incredible composure as he went on to score an equalising goal with 15-minutes remaining before Nemanja Matic struck a thunderbolt from 30 yards out in injury time to seal all three points for us.
The win ensures that we retain second place in the League standings for now.
Even though we managed to get three points, the performance was not up to the standard and we just cannot afford to repeat that against one of the top sides in the Premier League.
“I don’t think there was any ranting and raving [at half-time], but there was a degree where we walked in and already knew we weren’t playing well enough, needed to increase it, and then we conceded so early as well in the second half with a sloppy goal,” Smalling told the reporters after the win.
“It shows that no matter how bad we might be playing in that first half, that we can go after teams. And doing it away from home – our home record’s a lot better than our away form – that’s a huge win.
“They’ve got such a good crowd here, it’s always a difficult place to come, fair play to their fans, they pushed them on – they played with two big men up front and caused us a lot of problems. We had everything in front of us to do and we did it.
“We dug in, and you can see from the celebrations at the end how much that meant to all of us. We showed a lot of character. Before the game we knew how important this was to really try and make a gap with the other teams [for a top four place], so it’s such a great feeling.”
However, Manchester United fans were not pleased with Smalling’s efforts and took to Twitter to express their feelings. Here are a few of them,
but u are not deserved playing for this team, u just to lazy..
attack wins you games defence wins you titles ffs..
— LabileBile (@LabileBile) March 6, 2018
Make us feel even better by leaving the club then.
— Ian Cham (@cco_ian) March 6, 2018
Okay he scored but he is horrible at defending and fingers crossed he doesn’t start on liverpool game 🌚
— Gioconda (@Gioconda_01) March 7, 2018
Please improve your defending
— #Tshegofatso (@Tshegofatso3393) March 6, 2018
Please sell him pic.twitter.com/rWIbB4uDwW
— Eka Hardy (@eckahardy1987) March 6, 2018
The fans deserve more than his woeful defending 💩
— Jake (@JakeBar23) March 6, 2018
we don’t deserve his bullshit performances!!
— Hugh corn Wallace (@Mvgoh) March 6, 2018