Odion Ighalo’s introduction nine minutes from time proved ineffective as Eberechi Eze’s Crystal Palace stunned Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United were playing their first game of the season having been afforded an extra week off due to their continental campaign were they reached the semi finals of the Europa League in August.
And against Palace who won on the opening day of the season last week, the Red Devils looked blunt and devoid of imagination and struggled to impose themselves on the game.
The win means the Eagles have now won their first two Premier League games for the first time in their history.
The signs that United were in for a less than savoury evening loomed large when Andros Townsend put the visitors ahead after only seven minutes.
While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had plenty of the ball, they struggled to create anything of note and went into the interval behind.
The home side threw on Mason Greenwood for the ineffectual Dan James and upped the tempo in the second half but still struggled to create clear cut openings.
And while they probed, Palace hit on the break and one such breakaway proved to be decisive as defender Victor Lindelof was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box by referee Martin Atkinson who consulted the pitch side monitor before pointing to the spot.
United protested the decision and felt vindicated after Jordan Ayew’s feeble kick was saved but there was to be more heartbreak for United after VAR ruled David de Gea left his line before the kick.
Former United player Wilfred Zaha scored the retaken penalty to put Palace two goals up and Eze was introduced shortly after as Palace sought to exploit United on the break.
United halved the deficit with ten minutes left through new buy Donny van de Beek who was making his debut and Ighalo was thrown on a minute later as the Red Devils looked to salvage the game.
But the Nigerian failed to make any impact and is still yet to score in the league for United whom joined on loan from China in January till the end of the year.
Palace put the game out of reach five minutes from time through Zaha who now has three goals this season after scoring in their opening day win against Southampton.
The defeat was United’s first in the league since January and is sure to further rile their fan base which have been critical of their reticence in the transfer market.