Matic stunner completes United comeback in 3-2 win at Palace
Manchester United's Nemanja Matic, foreground celebrates after scoring a goal with teammate Chris Smalling during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park in London, Monday, March 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
LONDON (AP) — Nemanja Matic scored a stunning long-range goal in injury time as Manchester United came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 in a wild English Premier League game and reclaim second place on Monday.
The midfielder's first goal for United turned out to be a special one, as he collected a loose ball about 25 meters out and sent a dipping shot into the corner.
Chris Smalling launched the fightback with a header in the 55th minute and Romelu Lukaku equalized in the 76th at Selhurst Park.
The win lifted United back above Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification — five days before the fierce rivals meet at Old Trafford. United is still 16 points behind runaway leader Manchester City.
With Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez particularly profligate, United was dreadful in the first half and conceded the opening goal when Andros Townsend's shot from the edge of the area spun into the top corner off the back of United defender Victor Lindelof in the 11th.
United's players switched off for Palace's second goal in the 48th, Jeffrey Schlupp taking a quick free kick and Patrick van Aanholt running through before applying the finish.
United manager Jose Mourinho described his team's defending for that goal as "disgraceful, childish."
At that stage, Palace looked good for a first Premier League win over United in 18 attempts, only for another comeback by Mourinho's men, a week after they came from a goal down to beat Chelsea.
"It's very important because it gives us the points, but also the good feeling," Mourinho said.
Palace, which is in the relegation zone, also conceded an injury-time goal to lose to Tottenham 1-0 in its previous game.
"It's a groundhog day at the moment," Palace manager Roy Hodgson said.