Casemiro red card mars nervy Manchester United win as Rashford shines
MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United held on to a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace despite playing with 10 men for the last 20 minutes after Casemiro was sent off. An early penalty from Bruno Fernandes and another goal from Marcus Rashford saw United cross 2-0 before Casemiro was shown straight red after a VAR check for violent behaviour.
Palace used their extra man to score through Jeffrey Schlupp but United were able to hold onto victory and move up to third in the Premier League table.
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1. ManUnited holds out despite Casemiro’s red card
Everything was going so well when Rashford gave United a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute but then Casemiro was sent off and everything changed. The Brazilian was shown a red card for violent behavior after VAR Tony Harrington was seen wrapping his hands around Will Hughes’ neck during a melee on the touchline.
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When Schlupp made it 2-1 with 15 minutes remaining, you wondered if United would concede two points, but a resilient defense and a lack of real threat from Palace meant Ten Hag’s side endure for a 13th straight season could win at Old Trafford.
The only thing that soured it was Casemiro’s moment of madness and what is arguably the most important player in United’s squad will now miss the next three games with the resulting suspension. Fortunately, the club were able to sign Marcel Sabitzer on time, because he has suddenly become very important in Ten Hag’s midfield.
2. Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst become an enigma for Ten Hag
A problem is developing for Ten Hag as to what to do with his forwards. He wants to play as a center forward with Martial but the Frenchman is unable to keep fit. Weghorst, the backup striker signed in January, is struggling to find form and the only player to score, Rashford, is most dangerous when playing on the flank.
Martial has averaged a goal every 120 minutes this season but was missing from the squad against Palace after picking up another injury against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday. It’s Martial’s fifth injury break this season and it’s only February. He looked sharp when he played, but he wasn’t available for enough games and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ten Hag’s patience faltered.
Weghorst was only meant to be a backup option when he was loaned out from Burnley in January but has had to start the last six games. A completely different player to Martial, he has struggled to establish himself apart from a lone goal against Forest in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Luckily for Ten Hag, Rashford is in the form of his life.
3. Crystal Palace is threatened with a relegation battle
Crystal Palace have finished no lower than 15th since being promoted back to the Premier League in 2013, but they risk being drawn into a relegation battle this season. Patrick Vieira’s side have won just one of their last 10 games in all competitions and the defeat at Old Trafford put them just six points above the relegation zone.
They were down early against United, having conceded a penalty after just seven minutes, but they had good moments before half-time, particularly when Schlupp forced David De Gea to make a good save down his left and after Casemiro was sent off . Vieira will feel it was a missed opportunity against United after playing more than 20 minutes against 10 men and it will raise further questions as to whether he has enough goals in his squad, especially with Wilfried Zaha absent – because he was here because of a hamstring injury.
Momentum, positive or negative, can be difficult to shake and Palace haven’t won a game in any competition in 2023. That needs to change quickly if Vieira and his players are to avoid a nervous end to the season.
Best and worst performers
BEST: Lisandro Martinez, DF, Manchester United: The Argentine defended brilliantly and helped United get over the line despite pressure from Palace in the closing stages.
BEST: David De Gea, GK, Manchester United: He made two great saves, the best of which saved a Marc Guehi header that went into the net.
BEST: Marcus Rashford, ST, Manchester United: He continued his scoring streak with his 11th goal in his last 13 games.
THE WORST: Will Hughes, MF, Palace: Only he will know why his hand was so high when he gave away the early penalty.
The WORST: Casemiro, MF, ManUnited: Stupidly, he was sent off as he wrapped his hands around Hughes’ neck, giving Palace a lifeline.
WORST: Wout Weghorst, ST, ManUnited: The tall Dutchman isn’t lacking in effort, but he often looks out of place when United try to attack with pace.
Highlights and notable moments
Fernandes’ cool and calm penalty gave United the lead after just seven minutes.
Bruno Fernandes scores from the penalty spot and Manchester United take an early lead!
📺: @Peacock #MyPLmorning | #MUNCRY pic.twitter.com/HxSwuXpkuY
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 4, 2023
A fluid build-up led to United’s second goal of the game and Rashford’s 19th goal of the season.
United’s build-up game. 😍
Marcus Rashford is unstoppable!
📺: @Peacock #MyPLmorning.| #MUNCRY pic.twitter.com/Hl2zZSLUQM
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 4, 2023
Casemiro received a red card for putting his hands around Will Hughes’ neck.
RED CARD CASEMIRO 😳 pic.twitter.com/FPwnTPc7GP
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 4, 2023
After the game: What the players/coaches said
Man United head coach Erik ten Hag: “Casemiro crossed the line, you could see that. However, I’m unhappy with the inconsistent refereeing. Not only this game, but also [in the away match against] Palace. They elbowed Martinez and then last week Eriksen.”
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw: “[We’re] very happy. Massive three points I think, especially in the circumstances in the last 20 minutes, it was really tough but we showed character, we showed resilience to win this game in the end. I think we feed off that energy from the fans. They were great and today, in hard times, especially with 10 men, we feed on that. We’re fighting to the end, we didn’t want to lose those points and I think it showed.”
Key Statistics (provided by ESPN Stats & Information Research)
– Marcus Rashford has scored double digit goals in the Premier League for the 4th time in his career. The only players with more are Wayne Rooney (11), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5) and Andy Cole (5).
– Manchester United have won their last 13 home games in all competitions, their longest game at Old Trafford since 20 games between December 2010 and September 2011.
– Casemiro’s dismissal was the first consecutive red card he was shown while playing for a club in Europe’s big five leagues.
Manchester United: The Red Devils play back-to-back rivals Leeds United on February 9 and 12, followed by a visit to the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona in the Europa League knockout rounds.
Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira’s side meet an in-form Brighton on 11 February, then a visit to Brentford on 18 February before taking on Liverpool on 26 February.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-match/story/4868786/casemiro-red-card-mars-nervy-manchester-united-win-as-rashford-shines Casemiro red card mars nervy Manchester United win as Rashford shines