Manchester United are still very much on the outside of the top four race looking in, but they've put a bit of pressure on Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur with a solid win over Crystal Palace. They were poor in the first half, but put together a very solid second half performance for a 2-0 win, capped off by a brilliant Wayne Rooney goal.
The first half went how most would expect a first half to go between teams coached by Tony Pulis and David Moyes. While Manchester United had all of the possession, they didn't take many risks and struggled to create chances. Because United weren't taking risks, there wasn't much for Palace to do on the counter. The best chance of the half came in the 43rd minute, when the returning Marouane Fellaini missed a sitter from 10 yards.
Manchester United were a bit better in the second half and created the winner in the 61st minute, when Patrice Evra won a penalty. Marouane Chamakh was defending back in his own half and made a typical striker's challenge on Evra, catching him just inside the penalty area. Robin van Persie was the man who stepped up to the spot and he converted, putting United ahead.
David De Gea kept United in front with a brilliant save six minutes after that, tipping a well-placed Cameron Jerome shot just wide of his left post. Palace were made to regret not taking that chance two minutes later when Rooney sealed the victory for the Red Devils, volleying past Julian Speroni after a cross by Evra took a deflection and bounced perfectly into his path.
Palace opened things up after that, but struggled to challenge the United defense, as the visitors held on for a comfortable victory.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Delaney, Dann, Parr, Ward, Puncheon, Jedinak, Ledley, Ince (Gayle 85'), Chamakh (Bolasie 74'), Murray (Jerome 66')
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Smalling, Carrick, Fellaini (Fletcher 88'), Januzaj (Giggs 80'), Rooney, Mata, van Persie (Valencia 80')
Goals: van Persie (penalty 62'), Rooney (69')