Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic scored in stoppage time Monday, lifting the Red Devils to a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace in London. The Red Devils faced a 2-0 deficit before scoring three goals in the second half to snatch victory in the Premier League affair at Selhurst Park. Matic secured a long rebound to set up the decider. He settled the ball and launched a shot from about 35 yards out into the upper left corner, beating Crystal Palace’s diving keeper, Wayne Hennessey. Alexis Sanchez put United in range, sending a pass to Juan Mata to the right side. Mata collected the ball before passing back to Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman fired a shot, which was deflected by the defense. The ricochet was skied backwards and landed on Matic’s left foot.
“I think Palace deserve congratulations, because a match like this is only possible with two teams,” United manager Jose Mourinho told the team website. “I would say it was with three teams because the referee wanted to keep the intensity of the game going. It was a fantastic match. It was a difficult match for me because my team made so many mistakes.”
“We played very good quality football in the second half but we made so many defensive mistakes. I don’t like my teams to lose their organization like we did, but it was an amazing match and a very important win for us. Their second goal made things much more difficult for us, but Chris Smalling’s goal was very important. I always believe we can win. I will be like that until my last day. Some days more than others but after Smalling’s goal, I always thought it was possible.”
Palace got on the board after Christian Benteke took on a defender on the left side. He dribbled away and passed to the top of the box, finding Andros Townsend. Townsend hit a one-touch shot with his left foot, sailing it into the upper right corner of the net in the 11th minute.
The home team went up 2-0 in the 48th minute. Defender Jeffrey Schlupp took a quick free kick, sending a pass to a wide-open Patrick van Aanholt. The Dutch defender dribbled into the box and blasted a shot, using a narrow near post angle to beat United’s David de Gea.
United defender Antonio Valencia helped get the Red Devils on the board with a great service in the 55th minute. He sidestepped a defender before bending in a feed for Smalling, who headed in a score past Hennessey.
Romelu Lukaku tied the game for United in the 76th minute. Sanchez hit a shot off of the crossbar, which bounced back to Lukaku from about six yards out. The United forward toyed with van Aanholt before finishing a shot on the ground past Hennessey.