Nemanja Matic scored a stunning injury-time winner to complete a majestic comeback as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-2 on Monday.

Palace’s last league win over United came in 1991 but goals from Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt seemed to have put the hosts in a commanding position.

However, United came roaring back in the second half as Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and a 30-yard dipping volley from Matic made it United’s night.

The result sees Palace remain in the relegation zone while United move back into second place, above Liverpool, who they are set to face on Saturday. Palace set the tone for an electric night at Selhurst Park as Townsend struck inside 11 minutes.

Christian Benteke held up the ball and set the ball back for Townsend to strike from 25 yards, which took a huge deflection off Victor Lindelof and flew into the top corner.

United were sloppy in possession, with Alexis Sanchez particularly wasteful when in Palace’s final third. Jose Mourinho called for Marcus Rashford at the half but it was Palace that doubled their lead three minutes after the break.

The United defence stopped to berate the referee about a foul on Jeffrey Schlupp, who took a quick free-kick and released Van Aanholt through on goal before finishing past David De Gea at his near post.

United needed a quick response and they got it through Smalling courtesy of some woeful defending from James Tomkins. The Palace defender sat deep in his own box following the clearance of a corner and this allowed Smalling to stand onside on the penalty spot and nod home from a Antonio Valencia cross.

United set up camp in Palace’s half for the remaining 25 minutes as Matic had a shot cleared off the line by Benteke before Lukaku drew his team level. Sanchez’s shot from the edge of the box deflected up and rattled the bar but the Belgian striker was quick to react and fired home from 10 yards out.

De Gea clawed out a Benteke header three minutes later and that proved a pivotal moment as United stole the points in injury time in spectacular fashion. The ball dropped to Matic about 30 yards out and the midfielder unleashed a sensational dipping half-volley that swerved into the top corner.


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