ROMELU LUKAKU was denied a goalscoring return by an offside flag as United stumbled to a dismal draw against their Premier League whipping boys.
United had won their last six against Palace and not lost to them in 18 top flight clashes.
PA:Empics Sport5 Man United struggled to break down Crystal Palace in the early going
Yet although Lukaku was recalled and tapped on when Ashley Young’s drive was saved on 57 minutes, he had strayed just beyond James Tomkins and ref Lee Mason ruled it out.
Keeper Wayne Hennessy also produced a brilliant flying one-handed late stop to tip a Lukaku header round the post, as United’s season hit another bump in the road.
Indeed, they had to rely on a linesman’s flag themselves to come to the rescue when Cheikh Kouyate beat Victor Lindelof to glance in Luka Milivojevic’s free kick.
Palace had earlier blown a golden chance to sneak ahead after a quickfire break as impressive as you could see – apart from the finish.
Reuters5 Crystal Palace looked the more threatening for parts of the match
AFP5 Man United fans were left crying out for the return of Wilfried Zaha
Max Meyer burst through the middle and fed Wilfried Zaha on the right. When he rolled it to the left, Patrick van Aanholt was in tons of space, but stubbed his right foot shot wide.
Did it sting United into action? Well to a point, as Jesse Lingard brought a stunning low save from Hennessy from close range.
David De Gea was the next to do so, going full length to keep out Kouyate’s long ranger and then blocking van Aanholt’s follow up with his body.
Lukaku was then denied by the official and the keeper, but United themselves had done little to suggest they were about to nick it.
PA:Press Association5 Man United desperately tried and failed to create chances in the first half
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Reuters5 Man United dropped two more points in their dreadful 2018-19 season
In fact Palace were the ones who should have done when Andros Townsend shrugged off four attempts to stop him, but sidefooted wide of a gaping target.
Still, in the land of small mercies, at least United kept a clean sheet. It was the first time in nine games they’ve even managed that.
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