(Manchester United – Crystal Palace 1-3) The Premier League season started in the worst possible way for Ole Gunnar Solskjær (47).
Manchester United fans have spent the summer calling for more players, and the shouts are unlikely to diminish in strength after Crystal Palace beat Old Trafford thanks to goals an early Andros Townsend goal and two goals by Wilfried Zaha.
The latter scored on the 2-0 goal on penalties after the match’s great controversy.
Solskjær was first dissatisfied with the fact that the penalty was awarded at all, after VAR spotted a Victor Lindelöf hands. Jordan Ayew tried from 11 yards out, but David de Gea stretched as long as he could and delivered an impressive save.
But again VAR was to come into play: The replays showed that the goalkeeper was a few centimeters out of the goal line when the penalty was shot, and thus it was decided that it had to be taken again.
Then Solskjær’s frustration turned to anger. The Norwegian gestured fiercely towards the fourth judge and signaled with his fingers that it was only a question of a slight false start.
On the second attempt, Zaha took responsibility and doubled the Palace lead.
– Joke of a judge, joke of a system, joke of a rule = this. A farce, writes Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst
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The bright spot on an otherwise dark United night was jumped in by summer signing Donny van de Beek, who took advantage of sloppy defensive play by Palace and scored in the debut.
The Dutchman came in from the bench for a Paul Pogba who delivered one of his weakest performances in a United kit, with a number of mismatches and an obvious lack of proper fighting form.
In shape, however, was the old United talent Zaha, who responded immediately to the reduction with an unstoppable finish from outside the penalty area.