Man Utd relieved to end season as Crystal Palace push on

Shamoon Hafez, BBC Sport

Manchester United will be thankful a forgettable 2021-22 campaign has finally come to an end after collecting 58 points, their poorest return since 1989-1990.

Erik ten Hag left his Ajax role early, but from what he saw from his new players in person for the first time in south London on Sunday, he will know he has a monumental job on his hands.

After falling behind, United created few chances, with Bruno Fernandes’ form having tailed off particularly badly from last season as his side ended up losing their last six away games in the league.

United have ended with a goal difference of zero – but can take small comfort from qualifying for the Europa League, which could lead to the Champions League should they go all the way and win it.

For Crystal Palace, Patrick Vieira’s first season in the English top flight can be classed as a success, improving on Palace’s 14th-place finish from last term and reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

The Eagles are a vibrant team in attack and are marshalled at the back by solid Danish centre-back Joachim Andersen.

The victory represented a recovery from Palace’s capitulation at Everton on Thursday and they have ended the season on a positive goal difference in the top flight for the first time since 1991.

Palace can go into the summer with plenty of promise, hoping acquisitions in the transfer market may push them towards a European position next season.

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