MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United stuttered to 0-0 at home against struggling Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on Saturday as Jose Mourinho’s disjointed side fell further behind the leading pack.
Boos greeted the final whistle at Old Trafford, such was the home side’s listless performance against a side without a league win for 10 weeks.
Mourinho accused some of his players of lacking “heart.”
“Not enough intensity, not enough desire,” he said. “So, I think we played a game like ‘One more game,’ and I don’t think the game is ‘One more game.’ I think it is a game we really need to win.”
United was 14 points behind first-place Manchester City and, perhaps more worryingly, let pass a great chance to reduce the gap to the top four.
“My feeling is that there was not enough from the heart,” Mourinho added. “You must play with brain, we must play also with heart, and I think (there was) not enough heart.”
Palace threatened to leave the stadium with all three points for the first time since 1989, but had to make do with a point as United failed to get the win it desperately needed to kickstart its campaign.
Wilfried Zaha tormented United, his former club, and Cheikhou Kouyate had a goal ruled out for offside on an afternoon when Patrick Van Aanholt and Andros Townsend wasted glorious chances for Palace.
Chris Smalling missed his own gilt-edged chance and Romelu Lukaku saw a goal disallowed for offside, but it was not a performance that satisfied the Old Trafford fans. Paul Pogba’s substitution was greeted warmly and groans turned to loud jeers at fulltime.
“It was a really good performance and at least we got something from the game,” Palace manager Roy Hodgson said. “On another day, if fate had been a bit kinder to us and if we had been a bit more clinical around the box, especially with those two very big chances we created, we could even have won it.”
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