Marcus Rashford continued his post-World Cup scoring streak as a Manchester United side reduced to 10 men survived late Crystal Palace pressure to secure Premier League victory at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee spotted a Will Hughes handball and United seemed to be cruising when Rashford turned home Luke Shaw’s cross 17 minutes into the second half for his 11th goal since returning from Qatar.
But the contest turned dramatically when, amid a confrontation that resulted in both Antony and Jeffrey Schlupp being booked, VAR Tony Harrington spotted Casemiro with his hands round Hughes’ neck.
After a pitchside review, referee Andre Marriner sent the influential Brazilian off for violent conduct, which triggers an immediate three-match domestic ban.
Schlupp halved the deficit almost immediately and amid increasingly frantic scenes around the home area, United ended the game with four central defenders protecting their goal as Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were added to starting pair Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
Respective managers Erik ten Hag and Patrick Vieira, who started the afternoon laying wreaths in honour of the victims of the 1958 Munich air disaster, ended it ranting at fourth official Joshua Smith and then marching to the centre circle to make their points to Marriner as both argued against decisions that went against their team.
United’s 13th consecutive win at Old Trafford lifts them to third in the table while Palace remain 12th.
With Antony Martial ruled out through injury, Rashford’s goals output is going to be crucial for United.
He now has 19 in all competitions and the England man also claimed an assist for the hosts’ opener when his cross was handled by Hughes and Fernandes converted the resulting penalty.
If Rashford’s goals are needed, and with Casemiro now missing two Premier League games within five days against Leeds and the home encounter with Leicester on 19 February, Fred is almost as important. (BBC)