At Old Trafford, Manchester United trails 1-0 against Crystal Palace following Joachim Andersen’s close-range strike.
The team faced multiple injuries, notably the ongoing absence of Jadon Sancho. Due to injuries to Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, and others in defense, manager Erik ten Hag had to assemble a back four that had never played together before.
Sofyan Amrabat, a new signing, was pressed into duty at left-back, while Diogo Dalot took the other flank. Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof formed an untested partnership at center-back.
With three wins in six games so far in the Premier League, United may have seen today’s clash as the perfect opportunity to kickstart their season.
But that hasn’t happened so far, with Andersen putting Roy Hodgson’s side ahead on 25 minutes.
The ball fell to the feet of the Danish centre-back. From there, he rifled a shot into the top corner beyond Andre Onana.
JOACHIM ANDERSEN WITH A SENSATIONAL FINISH FOR THE OPENER AGAINST MANCHESTER UNITED!!!pic.twitter.com/K7rSYPheaw
— Football Report (@FootballReprt) September 30, 2023
No-one at Old Trafford was expecting this finish from Joachim Andersen 😱
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 30, 2023
And United fans have all had the same thing to say about the build-up to the goal – and are blaming the set piece coaching.
One took to X (Twitter) to state: “Last few minutes have been a disaster in United’s defensive third. Hopefully that Palace goal will wake everyone up.”
Another said: “Our set piece defending has been terrible of late.”
A third added: “That is a crazy strike but we can’t defend set pieces at all.”
And a fourth called out Lindelof for his part in the goal: “Lindelof let his man sit open on the corner and have all the space in the world while he marked grass.”
Another added: “Lindelof allowed Andersen too much space.”
United went into the break at 1-0 down to much dismay at Old Trafford, with Erik ten Hag needing to deliver a big team talk to get his side back into the game.