Crystal Palace 1-0 Manchester United: Ten Hag watches as Red Devils fortuitously fall into Europa League

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Manchester United will be playing Europa League football next season despite Wilfried Zaha scoring in a 1-0 win for Crystal Palace over the Red Devils in the Premier League.

Incoming United boss Erik ten Hag was in attendance at Selhurst Park as Zaha punished a languid first-half showing by Ralf Rangnick's side to put Palace in front.

United, without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, could not find a breakthrough in the second half as they fell to a sixth straight away league defeat.

However, West Ham were defeated by Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, which kept United in sixth despite the Red Devils finishing the term with a club record-low Premier League points tally.

Manchester United’s record-low Premier League points tally
Manchester United’s record-low Premier League points tally

Edinson Cavani, playing in his final game for United, almost wrongfooted Vicente Guaita with a volley after 14 minutes, but the Spaniard readjusted to parry away.

David de Gea showed quick reflexes to thwart low drives from Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp, but the United goalkeeper had no response shortly after when the Ivory Coast international drilled into the bottom-left corner.

Bruno Fernandes tamely curled a free-kick into Guaita's hands after the interval, while Conor Gallagher dragged a presentable opportunity wide at the other end.

Anthony Elanga sliced wide from Juan Mata's cutback as United searched for a late equaliser, although a belated offside flag against the Spaniard spared the Sweden international's blushes.

United continued pressing forward but Palace held firm for a fifth consecutive top-flight home clean sheet for just the second time in history.


What does it mean? United fail to impress Ten Hag

Palace had never won in 12 Premier League home games against United, the longest such winless streak in the competition's history, but finally ended that run as Rangnick took charge of his final game with the Red Devils.

Ten Hag has a sizeable rebuilding task at hand next season after the Red Devils suffered their 12th Premier League defeat this term – a record low only matched in the 2013-14 season. Meanwhile, Palace finish the season in 12th.

Zaha haunts his former side

Zaha failed to impress during his two-year stay at Old Trafford after moving to United in 2013, but showed his former employers what could have been in this game.

Palace winger Zaha scored his third Premier League goal against United, no player to previously feature for the Red Devils has managed more in the competition.

Ralf's repair job fails

Rangnick was tasked with transforming United's fortunes after the dismissal of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last November.

However, the German was unable to do so and leaves United with the lowest win rate of any Red Devils manager in Premier League history (41.7 per cent – 10 wins from 24 games).

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