Chris Smalling: 'Manchester United proved togetherness at Crystal Palace'

Mourinho will be without six United players against Crystal Palace

United's lack of intensity was apparent in Van Aanholt's goal soon after half-time, when Jeffrey Schlupp showed faster initiative to take a quick free-kick and free his Dutch team-mate inside the visitors' half.

"It is obviously great to win game by game and when you have a match against Liverpool coming up, a big derby, it is important to go into that with a win", Matic opined on Monday. In an even deeper hole against Crystal Palace - all of their own making - they did it again.

Matic, who scored the stunning victor from 30 yards in the 91st minute, hailed his team's fightback, but said improvement was needed.

For the first 48 minutes, United were very bad. United paid the price for their lethargic start in the 11th minute.

"David De Gea had to do better". The game was a minute into added time when the Serbia global unleashed a screamer from distance into the left corner to make Mourinho's post-match press conference slightly easier. An Alexis Sanchez pass, which hit the advertising hoardings with Antonio Valencia in acres of space, summed it up.

Clearly, if City start losing then it could be later, or not at all - but this looks highly unlikely at this stage.

But Chris Smalling got one back for United and Romelu Lukaku equalized with 14 minutes remaining.

He was playing so badly that former United defender Gary Neville, on pundit duty for Sky Sports, was moved to say: "It's like everything he does is like a YouTube or Instagram video".

The win lifted United back above Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification - five days before the fierce rivals meet at Old Trafford.

So there is also something to admire in the spirit United showed. They've got to finish the season strongly. It is a run-in that offers the opportunity to pick up enough points to reach the magical 40.

Last season, during a 1-1 draw with West Ham United, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was fined £16,000 and handed a one match ban last after getting sent to the stands for kicking a water bottle.

Mourinho was raging on the touchline after going two goals down, but Smalling gave United a lifeline in the 55th minute.

The game was wide open since and both teams had chances to win it.

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