Manchester United go to Selhurst Park on Wednesday, not only hoping to continue the excellent start to life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but also with the aim of maintaining their grip on history.
In the Premier League era, no club has suffered at the hands of United more than Crystal Palace. A win on Wednesday would not only be the perfect 46th birthday present for interim boss Solskjaer, it would make it a 20th game unbeaten for the Red Devils over the Eagles.
This fantastic run was first forged via a Mark Hughes goal in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in September 1992 and has since stretched to 15 wins and four draws. United have scored 37 goals and conceded just seven over the course of 27 years – including 14 cleans sheets in 19 matches.
United’s record over Palace is superior to similar ones against Charlton Athletic (P16 W14 D2), Queens Park Rangers (P14 W12 D2), Birmingham City (P14 W10 D4) and Hull City (P10 W8 D2).
Here we take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at their record run.
September 2 1992 United 1 Palace 0
In just the sixth game of the Premier League era, Mark Hughes’ 88th minute winner sets the Red Devils on the path to a maiden top-flight league title in 26 years.
April 21 1993 Palace 0 United 2
A crucial shift in the title race had been made 11 days earlier when two Steve Bruce headers in the 86th and 90th minutes saw United come from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at home.
Like earlier in the season, Hughes was again on the scoresheet here, netting the opening goal just after the hour, while Paul Ince sealed three points with a minute to go. United would end their long title drought in the following game with a 3-1 win over Blackburn.
November 19 1994 United 3 Palace 0
United soar to a comfortable win over the Eagles. Denis Irwin opens the scoring and Eric Cantona adds to the lead in the first half before Andrei Kanchelskis seals the three points early in the second half.
January 25 1995 Palace 1 United 1
United would go on to lose their title to Blackburn by just a point, but this was the game their fate was possibly sealed with Cantona’s infamous kung-fu kick on Palace fan Matthew Simmons following a red card for kicking out at Richard Shaw.
Despite the Frenchman’s 48th minute dismissal – and subsequent eight-month ban – the visitors took the lead eight minutes later through David May. But Gareth Southgate equalised 10 minutes from time.
October 4 1997 United 2 Palace 0
After a two-year stint away from the top-flight the Eagles are back, but are beaten at Old Trafford. New signing Teddy Sheringham opens the scoring early on before Hermann Hreidarsson’s own goal makes it 2-0 by the half-hour mark.
April 27 1998 Palace 0 United 3
Although United saunter to a comfortable 3-0 win thanks to Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Andy Cole goals, it’s a run of two previous draws that sees them concede the title to Arsenal, losing out again by just a point. Having been promoted, Palace go straight back down.
December 18 2004 United 5 Palace 2
Palace are back in the big time after six seasons away but are put to the sword by United, who twice go ahead through Paul Scholes and Alan Smith after Wayne Rooney initially sees his penalty saved by Gabor Kiraly – Danny Granville and Joonas Kolkka equalising.
Emerson Boyce’s own goal and Scholes’ second put United 4-2 ahead within four minutes of the restart and John O’Shea seals the win late on – but it’s to be the second of three seasons without a title for the Red Devils.
March 5 2005 Palace 0 United 0
Ten-man Palace hold on for a point against United – who would go on to finish a mammoth 18 points behind champions Chelsea. But it ultimately does them no good as they are again relegated a season after promotion.
September 14 2013 United 2 Palace 0
This time it’s an eight-year stint away from the promised land for the Eagles, who mark their Premier League return with a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford in their fourth game back.
Robin van Persie’s controversial penalty – scored after Kagisho Dikgacoi is sent off for a phantom foul on Ashley Young – is followed by a Wayne Rooney free-kick to give new United boss David Moyes a first home win.
February 22 2014 Palace 0 United 2
The same two men are again on the scoresheet in the reverse fixture, Van Persie again netting a penalty, and Rooney sealing the win six minutes later, but it’s a disastrous term in charge for Moyes.
His United tenure is prematurely brought to an end in April as United finish seventh – two places below his former side Everton and 22 points behind champions Manchester City.
November 8 2014 United 1 Palace 0
Juan Mata scores the only goal of the game for Louis van Gaal’s United and they kick off a 10-game unbeaten run in the process. The win moved United up to sixth.
May 9 2015 Palace 1 United 2
A run of agonising late defeats to United at Selhurst Park is kicked off with Marouane Fellaini scoring a 78th-minute winner. Mata again finds the net as United end a three-game losing run, Jason Puncheon had equalised for the hosts.
Van Gaal led his side back into the Champions League as United finished fourth, 17 points off champions Chelsea.
October 31 2015 Palace 0 United 0
United’s goal drought extended to more than five hours as they followed up stalemates against City and Middlesbrough in the League Cup with another lukewarm performance – the first time since 2005 that United had registered three successive goalless draws in all competitions.
April 20 2016 United 2 Palace 0
Damien Delaney’s own goal and a Matteo Darmian strike earned the hosts victory although the league season would end in disappointment as United finished fifth after finishing level on points with City and missing out on the Champions League again.
The two sides would meet a month later with Van Gaal’s reign ending on a high in a 2-1 FA Cup final triumph.
December 14 2016 Palace 1 United 2
More late home heartbreak for Palace as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike two minutes from time gives Jose Mourinho’s side a vital victory. Paul Pogba had opened the scoring with James McArthur equalising.
May 21 2017 United 2 Palace 0
Another disappointing Premier League campaign for United as they finish sixth, but it ends on a high with a home win over Palace, during which Mourinho named the youngest United line-up in Premier League history, with an average age of 22 years and 284 days.
Josh Harrop – one of four players given their first top-flight start – opened the scoring, with Pogba making it 2-0 soon after.
September 30 2017 United 4 Palace 0
United compounded Palace’s dreadful start to the season – the Eagles sat rock bottom after this result, a seventh straight loss and a seventh straight game without scoring. Mata netted the opener with Fellaini netting a brace and Romelu Lukaku’s late goal his 11th in 10 United games.
March 5 2018 Palace 2 United 3
Yet more agony for Palace who must have thought a long overdue win over United in the Premier League was finally in their grasp when Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt gave them a 2-0 lead.
But Chris Smalling pulled one back and Lukaku levelled 14 minutes from time. With virtually the last kick of the game, Nemanja Matic volleyed in a stunning winner for the visitors.
November 24 2018 United 0 Palace 0
Mourinho accused his players of not showing “enough heart” after they limped to a goalless draw at home to the Eagles. A month later he was sacked with Solskjaer named his replacement. United are now hoping to make it a 20th straight Premier League game unbeaten against Palace.
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