Goals: Daniel James (£6.0m) | Jordan Ayew (£5.0m) Patrick van Aanholt (£5.5m)
Assists: Anthony Martial (£7.7m) | Jeffrey Schlupp (£5.5m)
Bonus Points: Ayew x 3 Van Aanholt x 2 Schlupp x 1
Crystal Palace secured their first win of the 2019/20 Premier League season in dramatic fashion with a last-minute winner from Patrick van Aanholt (£5.0m) at Old Trafford.
Manchester United came into the game off the back of an unbeaten start to 2019/20 with a 4-0 victory over Chelsea and a 1-1 draw on Monday with Wolves.
However, instead of playing with energy and confidence from their opening encounters, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s side
Last week’s draw at Wolves drew considerable debate regarding United’s penalty-takers, with Solsjkaer claiming in his post-match interview that he leaves the final decision to either Paul Pogba (£8.6m) or Rashford dependent on their own preferences.
Pogba’s poorly taken spot-kick at Molineux meant it was Rashford who resumed duties from the penalty spot against Palace. It was interesting to see that Anthony Martial (£7.7m) took command of the penalty situation this time, decisively picking the ball up after Scott McTominay (£5.0m) was fouled, and thrust it into Rashford’s hands. Pogba, meanwhile, was conspicuous by his absence from the exchange.
However, Rashford was still unable to bury his spot-kick, striking the post on Saturday afternoon. That was a huge blow for Rashford’s 27.6% ownership, as he registered a Gameweek 3 score of zero points.
“Fine margins. We’re disappointed but I’m sure Marcus will look at his penalty again but he’ll definitely step up again.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Martial registered an assist for Daniel James’ (£6.0m) goal, yet the Frenchman will have been disappointed to not have added to his tally of attacking returns in 2019/20 after failing to add a clinical cutting edge on a number of occasions.
Backed by 18.6% of managers as the most-owned United midfielder, Martial certainly is passing the eye-test, and at £7.7m the French forward is certainly a value-for-money option amidst United’s attacking options.
However, any potential new owners may want to keep an eye on his fitness this week as Martial limped off at the end of the gam
The Manchester United website reported that he had picked up an injury in the closing stages with Solskjaer unable to provide much of an update at this early stage
There was also s
“We’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, they won’t be too bad and maybe we can have them training during the week. We’ll do the scans tomorrow but (Shaw) felt something in his hamstring. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad and I hope he is going to be back for Southampton.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
James, a bright spark amidst an afternoon of misfortune for United, was energetic throughout the game against Palace and got a well-deserved goal in the 89th minute.
He now has attacking returns in both of his matches at Old Trafford this season and has started the last two Gameweeks in a row. That may suggest the former Swansea City midfielder can provide an alternate budget route into the Manchester United attack.
Fantasy managers had also been flocking to United’s defensive assets after some impressive displays at the back in the first two Gameeeks. The arrivals of Harry Maguire (£5.5m) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.6m) looked to have stabilised the Red Devils’ backline.
However, their failure to keep a clean sheet against a team that offered little going forward might reminder to managers of how far United still have to come. There was also frustration for Wan-Bissaka owners as he picked up a yellow card in the second half.
Solskjaer’s men spent the majority of the first half camped in Palace’s final third and were caught off guard by the first counter-attack of the match.
Palace had been resilient in the face of considerable pressure in the opening stages, but it was Jordan Ayew (£5.0m) who found the breakthrough for Palace to put them 1-0 up against the run of play.
The Eagles’ lack of goalscoring impetus aside from Wilfried Zaha (£6.9m) is well documented, though Ayew’s performance and goalscoring contribution could suggest he is capable of involving himself in Palace’s attacking efforts in 2019/20.
Van Aanholt also reminded Fantasy managers what he is capable of, sending Palace’s away end into a state of euphoria with a winner in injury time. The Dutch defender has always held an attacking threat, averaging nearly five goals a season since 2015/16, and he was once again on target to secure a vital win for Palace.
For Hodgson’s men, this was an extremely important result, yet it was also a timely reminder that the Eagles, on their day, can be a match for any of the Premier League’s elite sides if they show the resilience they displayed at times in 2018/19.
Gary Cahill (£4.5m) was solid at the back alongside Martin Kelly (£4.0m), which is good news for the Fantasy appeal of the latter, who started ahead of Scott Dann (£4.5m).
The arrival of the ex-Chelsea man on a free transfer could potentially revitalise Palace as a defensive unit worthy of investment – a prospect that may have been discarded by managers following the departure of Wan-Bissaka to United.
This was an afternoon that belonged to Palace and their resilient attitude in the face of extreme pressure, yet after just three Premier League games of 2019/20, a familiar line of questioning may be pointed towards United.
Defensive frailties have once again been exposed, and they were not too ruthless going forward either. That may lead to further scrutiny of their Fantasy assets in the upcoming Gameweeks.
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