EPL: Matic stunner fires Man United to second spot

Blind will miss the Monday clash

Manager Jose Mourinho demanded his team to respond to this despondent performance, and the team answered his call.

United went 2-0 down before they rallied back in the game with goals from Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and Matic to emerge victorious.

Matic didn't just score a 30-yard thunderbolt but put in a fine all-round display in the engine room, completing 73 passes in the game - more than any other midfielder on the pitch.

Brighton & Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray appeared to take pleasure from Crystal Palace's late defeat against Manchester United on Monday. "I would say it was with three teams because the referee wanted to keep the intensity of the game going".

"I hope you were not the man of the match", Mourinho could be heard saying off-screen.

Since the former United manager's retirement in 2013, the team have often appeared to lack numerous traits they consistently demonstrated during his reign.

"We started bad once more, not pressing the ball or the opponent and giving them too much space".

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"But with that disgraceful, childish (goal) - you can find so many adjectives for that second goal. everything changed but the players kept an incredible attitude".

"Their (Palace's) second goal made things much more hard for us but Chris Smalling's goal was very important", said Mourinho.

Nemanja Matic's first goal for United turned out to be a special one, as he collected a loose ball about 25 meters out and sent a dipping shot into the corner.

They weren't clapping when Matic's brilliant stoppage-time shot flew into the Palace goal. In these kind of games, if we can manage to win we can compete for the title.

"We once again go away with no points and, like the game against Tottenham, I thought we deserved something". They are two clear of Liverpool (60) on third and 16 points behind leaders Man City (78).

"Not many, but he's scored a few goals - this season against Benfica [it was] half of the goal for him, half of the goal for the Benfica goalkeeper".

With a two-point advantage held over their arch-rivals ahead of Saturday's clash at Old Trafford (12.30pm), Matic is relishing the challenge off the back of beating Palace.

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