Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha scored twice as Manchester United started a miserable campaign of Premier League at Old Trafford.
Andros Townsend gave the visitors a shock lead after seven minutes before Zaha’s controversial penalty doubled the advantage with a quarter of an hour left.
Donny Van de Beek came off the bench to grab the Red Devils a lifeline on his debut but it was too little, too late after a lacklustre display from the hosts.
Zaha’s brilliance shone through late on with a fine solo finish to wrap up three deserved points for Roy Hodgson’s side.
Having already seen his side record a win in their first game at Southampton, Hodgson only made enforced alterations to his line-up, with Mamadou Sakho coming in at centre-back.
It was to be expected that with very little football played, United would be the rustier of the two sides. But the sharpness and confidence Palace were displaying must have taken them by surprise.
It only took one passage of play to tear apart the Red Devils and Luke Shaw, returning from three months out, was given a rude awakening. The left-back was caught napping as Townsend ghosted in behind him to slot home from Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross.
Palace was full value for their lead and United, struggling to piece together any sort of attacking moves, looked to Bruno Fernandes for inspiration as the Portuguese saw a long-range effort saved.
VAR checked for a possible penalty when Pogba collided with James McCarthy in the penalty area but after a lengthy stoppage, Martin Atkinson waved play on.
Solskjaer decided enough was enough, hooking James after an anonymous display and sending on 18-year-old Greenwood, who was wearing the no.11 shirt for the first time. But there was no marked improvement from United and if anything, Palace looked the more likely side to score.
Out of nowhere, Greenwood had a golden chance to level the score but steered his free header wide from Fosu-Mensah’s cross at the far post.
Palace began to threaten as United searched for an equaliser but even the visitors may have been surprised by how their second goal came about.
Jordan Ayew shot from inside the box and his effort appeared to strike Victor Lindelof’s arm.
After a long stoppage, Atkinson went to check the VAR monitor pitchside and decided it was a penalty. Ayew stepped up somewhat hesitantly and De Gea kept out his spot-kick. But the drama wasn’t over; the Spaniard had overstepped his line and Atkinson ordered a retake.
This time, it was Zaha’s turn and he made no mistake, rocketing his effort into the top corner.
United sent on Van de Beek for Paul Pogba and the Dutchman made an instant impact, rolling into the far corner with 10 minutes to go.
But Zaha wrapped up the win on 85 minutes, slotting into the bottom corner after receiving a pass from Tyrick Mitchell to get one over his former club and prove why Palace are so desperate to keep him at Selhurst Park.