No Eze solution for Roy as Eagles are humbled 3-0 at Old Trafford and crash out of League Cup
By Ewan Harkness at Old Trafford
Manchester United 3 Crystal Palace 0
Crystal Palace crashed out of the League Cup after being well beaten 3-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford this evening leaving boss Roy Hodgson lamenting the fact he can't put out his best players, with only Eberechi Eze coming off the bench to offer any real attacking threat.
The South London boss said of Eze: “He is a quality player, but we can’t rely on a quality player to win us games.
“We need Eze to be a good player in a good team.
“We need some quality players around him but it might mean I’ve got to wait until I’ve got a full group of players to choose from to make us into a better team.”
Palace set up in a typical compact shape allowing United possession, which took the home side only 21 minutes to break down when exciting youngster Alejandro Garnacho made it 1-0.
The goal came after Facundo Pellistri took down a pinpoint floated cross field pass from Mason Mount and drove a low ball across the box, which Garnacho struck past a helpless Sam Johnstone.
In the 27th minute Casemiro headed home an exquisite corner from ex-Chelsea star Mount, after poor marking from the eagles left him free in the centre of the box.
Mount’s return was cut short at half time as he made way for Victor Lindelof, after perhaps his most impressive 45 minutes in a Manchester United shirt, while Marc Guehi came on as Hodgson shifted his side to a back five.
Yet this didn’t prove to fix the Eagles’ defensive woes, as in the 54th minute Anthony Martial made it 3-0 in front of the Stretford End, after volleying home a skillfully chipped through ball from Casemiero.
Eze came off the bench and looked like the Eagles’ only threat, creating two clear chances which Jean-Pihilipe Mateta squandered thanks to two excellent reflex saves from Andre Onana.
Sam Johnstone kept the scoreline from getting out of hand, with a top reflex save from Johnny Evans’ close-ranged header in the 70th minute and a vital hand to Garnacho’s ferocious long ranged strike.
This came after Johnstone was brought on in the 16th minute for Dean Henderson, whose chance to shine against his ex-club was cut short due to injury.
A comfortable night for the Red Devils, which will surely give them confidence for playing the Eagles again this weekend in the Premier League.
Manchester United : Onana, Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Amrabat, Casemiro, Hannibal, Pellistri, Mount, Garnacho, Martial
Subs: Bayindir, Lindelof, Fernandes, Rashford, Hojlund, Heaton, Van de Beek, Evans, Gore
Crystal Palace : Henderson, Clyne, Holding, Richards, Mitchell, Doucoure, Riedewald, Schlupp, Rak-Sakyi, Ayew, Mateta.
Subs: Johnstone, Ward, Guehi, Eze, Andersen, Hughes, Ebiowei, Ozoh, Ola-Abebomi
Referee: Michael Salisbury