A number of viewers of this evening’s clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester United have taken to Twitter to suggest that Romelu Lukaku’s equalizer for the Red Devils should have been disallowed.
The two sides went head to head at Selhurst Park, with hosts Palace having come into proceedings on the back of no wins from their last 5 league outings, the latest of which saw the Eagles fall to a hugely-disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Tottenham courtesy of a late Harry Kane strike.
Manchester United, meanwhile, bounced back from a shock 1-0 loss away to Newcastle 3 weeks ago with 2 wins and a draw from their last 3 games, including a crucial 2-1 victory over Chelsea last time out.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) March 5, 2018
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 5, 2018
Unsurprisingly, Manchester United were labelled as clear favourites ahead of kick-off, meaning there was shock amongst viewers when Palace took the lead with just 11 minutes on the clock, courtesy of Andros Townsend.
After Christian Benteke was slipped in down the left side of United’s box, the burly Belgian hitman cut inside, before laying a pass off to the incoming Townsend on the edge of the area.
And the English wide man’s ensuing driven effort took a massive deflection off of Victor Lindelof, leaving David De Gea wrong-footed and arrowing perfectly into the top-right hand corner of United’s goal.
Incredibly, things soon got worse for Jose Mourinho’s travelling giants, as a quick free-kick inside United’s half just after the interval saw Patrick Van Aanholt given a clear path to goal, with the Dutch flyer making no mistake with his finish, driving home at the near post of David De Gea.
The Red Devils were not ready to accept defeat lying down, though, and went on to turn the game on its head over the remainder of the second-half.
Chris Smalling pulled one back with a header in the 55th-minute from a perfect Antonio Valencia dinked cross, after James Tomkins was caught badly behind the rest of Palace’s defensive line.
And it was 2-2 twenty minutes later, as Alexis Sanchez’s strike deflected off the home side’s crossbar, before being taken down and dispatched by Romelu Lukaku following a number of dummies.
And the turnaround was complete in the 2nd minute of injury-time, as unexpected hero Nemanja Matic took the ball down 25 yards from goal, before unleashing an incredible half-volley past the helpless Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal.
United hung on for an incredible, and morale-boosting 3 points, but, as per a number of posts on social media, the validity of the Red Devils’ equalizer has since been called into question.
Upon closer inspection at Romelu Lukaku taking the ball under control after the ball rebounded off the crossbar, replays seemed to suggest that the ball actually came off the Belgian’s hand.
It was unclear whether Lukaku’s touch was intentional, but many fans have since revealed their adamance that the goal should not have stood:
Seem to have missed the fact the ball hit Lukaku on the hand for the 2nd goal on Sky. He gained an advantage from it so it shouldn’t have stood but understand it was difficult to spot.
— John Bates (@John_Boy1983) March 5, 2018
Some Palace players calling for hand ball against Lukaku pic.twitter.com/51JyGsJIeK
— The 2 Robbies (@The2RobbiesNBC) March 5, 2018
Pretty sure that was a hand ball by Lukaku, but I’ll take it! #CRYMUN
— Nick Vera (@Nick_Vera) March 5, 2018
Man United level. Lukaku controls the ball with his hand before firing home. 2-2 #CRYMUN
— Harry 🇬🇧🏴 (@AFC_Harry34) March 5, 2018
Hand ball by Lukaku, LOOOL
— fabiano™💜 (@XaviTempo) March 5, 2018
Hand ball by Lukaku
— OLLIE CLARKE (@ollieboydj) March 5, 2018
I do believe the ball hits lukaku on the hand
— Stephen Nicol (@SteveNicol61) March 5, 2018
That is bad luck the ball is off the Bar and right to Lukaku, and he knocked that down with a hand ball to get the shot for goal. #CRYMUN
— Quinntense (@harleyquinnical) March 5, 2018
Andre Marriner just stood watching Lukaku steady the ball with his hand before scoring, fuck the Premier League
— Stavros (@Stavroswba) March 5, 2018