Both Crystal Palace and Manchester United registered their second straight goalless draw in the Premier League as the two sides failed to find the net in their clash at Selhurst Park on Wednesday evening.
After a sluggish start that gave Crystal Palace a glimmer of hope, Manchester United slid into gear and took charge of the proceedings. The Red Devils enjoyed the better chances and retained the bulk of the possession even as both defences stood firm.
The second half played out in a similar fashion but ultimately ended with clean sheets at either end. Shots on target were few and far between, and neither side ever really looked like breaking the deadlock.
The 0-0 result leaves Manchester United as they were in the table, in second place and 14 points behind Manchester City, whom they face at the weekend. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Crystal Palace will also contest a local derby with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
On that note, here are the five major talking points from a dour 0-0 draw between Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
#1 Heavy rotation from Manchester United, Crystal Palace stick to tried and tested eleven
As the lineups for this clash were announced, attention was immediately drawn towards Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to make four changes from Sunday’s draw against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson made just one change from his side’s draw against Fulham.
Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Edinson Cavani, and Nemanja Matic all came into the starting eleven for Manchester United, while James McCarthy replaced Jairo Riedewald in the Crystal Palace midfield.
The difference in squad rotation by both sides might be explained by the fact that Manchester United are still competing in two knockout tournaments in addition to the Premier League. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace only have their league fixtures to contend with for the rest of the season.
With a Europa League tie against AC Milan and an FA Cup quarter-final encounter against Leicester City in the offing, managing players’ workload is a much tougher task for Manchester United as compared to their opponents on the night.
#2 Manchester United keep remarkable run away from home going
Despite falling further behind to Manchester City in the title race, a significant positive that Manchester United can take from this season is their unbeaten run away from home, which they extended to 21 with this draw at Crystal Palace.
It has been over a year that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men tasted defeat away from home, a record that very few teams have been able to emulate in English top-flight history.
However, having started their campaign with a series of thrilling come-from-behind victories away from home, Manchester United have racked up a number of draws on the road lately. This run of results has seen their title challenge lose momentum as Manchester City continue to stack up victory after victory.
Manchester United will face the toughest test of their fortitude away from home as they travel to the Etihad at the weekend, with their local rivals in imperious form.