Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice – his 800th and 801st career goals – as Man United came from behind to pick up a huge three points against Arsenal on Thursday; Emile Smith Rowe’s strike,
which flew into an empty net with David de Gea on the ground nursing an injury, sent the Gunners ahead, but the home side managed to turn the game around, with Ronaldo’s 70th-minute penalty proving to be the difference in a 3-2 success.
Rangnick watched on from the stands as Michael Carrick delivered another positive result, and the stand-in manager then announced after the match that he would be leaving the club immediately.
The Red Devils are now preparing to enter a new era under Rangnick, who is open to staying as head coach beyond the end of the season, and the German will be looking to make it back-to-back wins for Man United in the Premier League for the first time since the middle of September.
Thursday’s success over Arsenal moved the 20-time English champions into seventh spot in the table, three points behind fourth-placed West Ham United, and there is no question that the new head coach will be expected to secure a top-four finish this term considering the talent in the squad.
It is a quick turnaround from the clash with the Gunners, but Rangnick must settle immediately ahead of a busy run of fixtures; the team have a pressure-free Champions League clash with Young Boys next week, though, having already booked their spot in the next round of the competition as Group F winners.
Palace, meanwhile, are on a three-game winless run in England’s top flight, losing their last two matches against Aston Villa and Leeds United, in addition to drawing 3-3 at Burnley on November 20.
The Eagles beat Manchester City 2-0 away from home at the end of October, though, and they were victorious at Old Trafford in the Premier League last season, recording a 3-1 win.
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Palace have actually not lost to Man United at Old Trafford since September 2017, winning two and drawing one of their last three matches away to the 20-time English champions, so they should enter this game full of confidence despite dropping down to 11th in the table due to their recent struggles.
Patrick Vieira’s side have won three, drawn seven and lost four of their 14 matches to collect 16 points, and only the top three – Chelsea (one), Manchester City (two) and Liverpool (one) – and Brighton & Hove Albion (3) have lost fewer Premier League games this term.
The capital club have had longer to prepare for this match, which should be an advantage, and Vieira will be desperate to get one over on the team that he battles on so many occasions as a player