Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Maguire booed as Man Utd beat Crystal Palace in Melbourne

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was mercilessly booed by the Melbourne crowd during the early stages of a promising friendly win over the absent Crystal Palace.

Just a week after coach Erik ten Hag confirmed the defender would retain the armband, the 29-year-old came under fire from sections of the crowd in Australia.

Maguire had avoided a negative reaction in Bangkok and United’s first friendly at the MCG but the centre-back was taunted early in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Patrick Vieiras Palace.

The England international seemed to wow the fans with an impressive display and the boos died down in the first half as Anthony Martial scored in their third straight friendly.

The Frenchman was involved in an excellent team goal that ended Marcus Rashford early in the second half, flicking through for Jadon Sancho to complete another well-crafted move.

David De Gea will be disappointed not to have saved Joel Ward’s header and Will Fish was sent off but it was another largely positive evening for the rejuvenated United.

There were 76,499 in attendance at the MCG, where Maguire’s every touch during the opening stages was taunted.

The United skipper showed impressive resilience, responding with solid, composed defence, which saw the abuse subside.

Those pantomime boos drew attention away from a bright United game.

Jack Butland injured his hand while making an impressive save from Martial and substitute Palace goalkeeper Remi Matthews soon took the ball out of his net.

Tyrell Malacia looked good in his first United start and played to Diogo Dalot, who tricked in a left-footed cross for Martial in the 17th minute to control him and hit home from close range.

Malcolm Ebiowei – a player United focused on in the summer – forced De Gea to make a good save but Ten Hag’s side continued to thrive.

There was a noticeably warm reaction aimed Maguire’s way after he narrowly missed a shot before the break and the second half was just three minutes old when United scored a fine team goal.

Martial snatched the ball from the sky and put it down to Sancho, who ran through the Frenchman with a defence-splitting pass. Martial slapped Matthews the ball and touched wide to bring on Donny van de Beek, whose cross was turned home by Rashford on the edge of the box.

Bruno Fernandes whipped and raged at Jordan Ayew after being on the receiving end of a poor challenge before United scored another good team goal.

The move started with De Gea and ended with Martial putting in a Rashford pass for Sancho in the 59th minute to run through and get home.

The offside flag prevented Jean-Philippe Mateta from scoring for Palace but Ward’s header would soon smack De Gea out of the corner brought in by the United keeper who denied Ademola Ola-Adebomi.

Substitute United defender Fish was sent off for bringing down Victor Akinwale in the closing stages.

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