Manchester United’s worrying start to the season hit another bump as they suffered a second successive Premier League defeat at Old Trafford, going down 1-0 to Crystal Palace.
Four days after they beat Palace in the Carabao Cup, United were unable to repeat the trick in the league as the visitors got revenge in style thanks to Joachim Andersen’s first-half strike.
Erik ten Hag’s men piled the pressure on in the second half, with Bruno Fernandes, Rasmus Hojlund and Mason Mount all going close, but could not find a way through and suffered a fourth defeat from the opening seven league games.
That makes it their worst start to a Premier League season in terms of games lost at this stage.
It had looked like United were turning their season around after that League Cup win on Tuesday followed victory at Burnley last weekend, but they are having problems on home soil this season, with the pressure beginning to mount on Ten Hag.
They were fortunate to beat Wolves and Nottingham Forest, where they had to come from 2-0 down, but were soundly beaten by Brighton and now lost to Andersen’s goal.
The defender spanked a first-time effort into the top corner from a set-piece as his side scored in the opening 45 minutes for the first time this season.
He then defended resolutely as United launched a second-half assault in search of the equaliser, but Palace stood up to the test to make boss Roy Hodgson the first manager to go five successive Premier League games unbeaten at Old Trafford.
The game burst into life after 10 minutes with quickfire chances at both ends.
First Marc Guehi glanced a header from Andersen’s cross just wide and then straight from the goal-kick, Hojlund was through on goal and prodded past Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, but Tyrick Mitchell was able to clear off the line.
Marcus Rashford almost scored a wonder goal as he danced into the penalty area but his goalbound shot was blocked by Joel Ward.
But Palace drew first blood in the 25th minute and in some style.
Eberechi Eze’s cross made it through to the far post where Andersen sent a scorching first-time effort back across goal and into the roof of the net. It took a nick off Diogo Dalot but Andre Onana probably would not have saved it anyway.
United, still striving for a really domineering home performance in the league, tried to respond and Casemiro flashed a 20-yard effort just wide before sending a header from a corner over.
There was a deluge at the start of the second half as the rain poured down and Palace also had to weather a storm.
The hosts came out flying after the restart and Johnstone, who came through the youth set-up at Old Trafford, needed to be on top form.
First he did well to tip Bruno Fernandes’ 20-yard shot over and then, following a series of corners, palmed away Hojlund ‘s powerful header.
Palace did carry a threat on the counter attack as Will Hughes stung Onana’s palms with a shot from distance while Eze rolled just wide after bursting forward.
But the chances kept coming at the other end as Mount put a free header from Dalot’s cross over when he should have buried it and then Alejandro Garnacho’s cross was almost turned into his own net by Mitchell.
Forgotten men Harry Maguire and Donny van de Beek were thrown on in a desperate attempt to get something out of the game.
United almost did as the near-misses kept coming until the end as Dalot’s deflected cross was cleared off the line before Garnacho’s shot was deflected just wide.