Manchester United

Erik ten Hag hits humiliating low as Crystal Palace destroy Man Utd – 5 talking points

Erik ten Hag hits humiliating low as Crystal Palace destroy Man Utd - 5 talking points

It was another night to forget for Erik ten Hag (Image: Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace: To put more pressure on Erik ten Hag, Michael Olise led Crystal Palace to a commanding victory over a subpar Manchester United.

With three games remaining, Manchester United remains eighth in the league after limping to a defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Before the half, Erik ten Hag’s team’s generous defense was exploited by Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta, who caused significant damage. Despite having goals disallowed before and after the break, Oliver Glasner’s team was mainly superior to United.

An hour in, Tyrick Mitchell scored his third goal after Joachim Andersen squared the ball in his direction. But after Casemiro gave the ball to Daniel Munoz in the build-up, Olise scored the best goal to make it 4-0, and Odsonne Edouard was only prevented from adding a late fifth by a post.

Ten Hag’s team is now down eight games and is very much out of the running to play in Europe next season. However, Palace’s remarkable form under Glasner continued as they secured 13 points out of a possible 15.

Within fifteen minutes, Olise had opened the score, slicing through the United defense with ease and finding the bottom corner of Andre Onana’s net. When Casemiro’s looping header found its way into Dean Henderson’s net, the visitors believed they were level, but Rasmus Hojlund’s foul on Henderson caused the goal to be disallowed.

Mateta broke past Jonny Evans and found the net just before halftime as Palace won a turnover close to the halfway line. Just moments after the restart, United appeared to have one back, but Casemiro had strayed well offside and his first attempt had struck the post before tucking in the rebound.

Palace appeared to be quite comfortable at 2-0, but Mitchell and Olise’s second goals sealed the victory. These are the talking points from Mirror Football from an evening that was both a nightmare and a dream come true for Palace.

1. Mateta keeps running

Erik ten Hag hits humiliating low as Crystal Palace destroy Man Utd - 5 talking points

Jean-Philippe Mateta took advantage of weak defending to score Palace’s second goal ( Image: CameraSport via Getty Images)

Mateta’s goal puts him on the scoreboard for Crystal Palace in six straight home games. Having scored just three goals in the league prior to Oliver Glasner’s appointment in February, he has nine goals since then.

Prior to joining Palace, the Frenchman had a patchy career in goal. He began the 2020–21 campaign with 10 goals in nine games for Mainz before making the switch to Selhurst Park. However, he only scored two goals in the entire previous season, which makes his current run even more impressive.

The 51 goals Palace scored in 2018–19 is their best goal total as a team in the Premier League. They now have 49 points after their victory on Monday, and they have two games remaining to try to surpass that total.

2. Mount toothless feels Bruno’s absence.

Erik ten Hag hits humiliating low as Crystal Palace destroy Man Utd - 5 talking points

Mason Mount struggled to gain a foothold in the game ( Image: AFP via Getty Images)

You would be correct if you assumed that Bruno Fernandes doesn’t often miss games. According to some reports, this was the captain’s first injury-related absence from a Manchester United match in his entire career.

United’s midfield trio of Christian Eriksen, Kobbie Mainoo, and Mason Mount found it difficult to establish a presence in the match without the Portuguese. In fact, Olise encountered minimal opposition on his path through for the first goal, leaving Eriksen and Mainoo in particular exposed.

Considering his transfer fee, Mount may have been the person United would have expected to step up. However, he was largely unnoticeable, and after an injury-plagued debut season at his new club, he will need to hope that a healthy preseason can revitalize him.

3. Losing is too costly for France. Olise

Despite progressing through France’s youth system, Michael Olise has not yet been awarded a senior cap for Les Bleus. They might want to change that sooner rather than later, given how well he played football under Oliver Glasner.

Olise can also represent Algeria, Nigeria, or England. But those options will be gone for the Palace star once he’s tied for cap.

Although injuries have been a concern, Olise is on a trajectory that, at his peak, would put him on par with most due to his raw talent and form. In comparison, he is younger than France’s wide options Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman, as well as England’s Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka.

4. Casemiro and Evans were horribly exposed

This season, Jonny Evans has had moments when he seemed like a different man. However, for Palace’s second goal, it was clear that we were watching an old pro who had been brought back to perform whatever role he could at the end of his career.

Although United’s terrible injury luck is hardly something they could have planned for, these things can still be managed. Before letting one of these players go one-on-one, the lack of pace in the middle and the back combined to create a risk that was already considerable.

Casemiro’s situation wasn’t much better, but at least he could use the fact that he had to play a less comfortable position as an excuse. That won’t make it any easier for the away supporters, though, and after this performance, Arsenal shouldn’t have too much to worry about going into Sunday’s match.

5. Concerns about Europe cast doubt on Ten Hag’s future

Is there any way Manchester United could gain from a season without playing in Europe? No matter how you feel, there’s a good chance that’s what they’ll receive.

After losing to West Ham 5-0 on Sunday, Chelsea opened up a sizable goal differential, dropping United to eighth place. Even though Ten Hag’s team has a friendlier match against Brighton on the last day, that may be as high as they can finish if they lose their next two games against Arsenal and Newcastle.

That would mean their only remaining chance to go to Europe would be to win the FA Cup final. And you wouldn’t back them to do that, given how clumsily they survived the previous two rounds.

So what does this possibly mean for Erik ten Hag? His future has been in doubt for some time; is it possible that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s summer negotiations will come to an end and the part-owner decides someone else is more qualified to guide the team into the future?


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