Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho all got on the scoresheet as Manchester United kept up their pre-season winning streak with a 3-1 victory over a weakened Crystal Palace side in Melbourne.
A few defensive lapses aside, United were on top throughout as the promising signs under new manager Erik ten Hag continued against the Eagles.
United should have gone ahead inside ten minutes, when Martial was sent through by a clever reverse pass by Fred. However, the Frenchman’s close-range shot was well saved by Jack Butland – who hurt his fingers in the process.
Martial made up for his miss not long after though, taking down Diogo Dalot’s cross at the back post and volleying past substitute keeper Remi Matthews.
Palace’s young side responded well, with new arrival Malcolm Ebiowei cutting inside and drawing a reflex save from David de Gea at the front post. Just before the half-hour mark, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi then saw an effort blocked after he showed quick feet in the box.
United finished the first half strongly with Rashford swinging in an inviting cross that Martial narrowly failed to convert, before Harry Maguire – who was booed by sections of the crowd – smashed a shot wide.
Less than three minutes after the restart United doubled their advantage with a fine team goal. Martial, Sancho and Donny van de Beek were all involved, with Rashford eventually applying the finishing touch at the back post.
The chances kept on coming for the Red Devils with Bruno Fernandes blazing over from inside the box. A few minutes later the front three of Rashford, Martial and Sancho combined again for a third goal.
Rashford fired a ball into Martial and the Frenchman helped it along to Sancho, who waited for his chance to plant it into the back of the net.
Against the run of play Palace pulled one back 16 minutes from time, with Joel Ward’s free header squeezing underneath De Gea’s legs when he really should have done better.
Before the final whistle, United youngster Will Fish had his evening spoiled when he saw red for a professional foul on Victor Akinwale when he was in on goal. Palace could not break down United’s 10 men though, as they slumped to a second successive tour defeat.
Here are your player ratings…
David de Gea (GK) – 4/10 – Made a couple of saves but should have saved Ward’s header.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – 7/10 – Set up Martial with a really clever piece of play. Fine defensively.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – 7/10 – Composed and never looked troubled.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 7/10 – Bizarrely booed early on by certain sections of the MCG crowd. Responded with an accomplished defensive display.
Tyrell Malacia (LB) – 7/10 – Looked decent. Pushed high and was always eager to win the ball back.
Scott McTominay (CM) – 6/10 – Offered a physical presence in midfield. Might have been booked in a regular season game.
Fred (CM) – 7/10 – Produced a fine through ball to set up Martial early on. Great energy out of possession.
Jadon Sancho (RM) – 8/10 – Caught the eye with a few tricky runs. Great pass in the build-up to the second and even better finish for the third.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – 4/10 – A little quiet in the first half. Missed a huge chance after the break.
Marcus Rashford (LM) – 8/10 – Fired off a few shots after cutting inside in the first half, but accuracy was lacking. Combined well with Sancho and Martial.
Anthony Martial (ST) – 9/10 – Should have netted early on but scored a fine goal not long after. Led the line well and heavily involved in the second and third goals.
SUB: Donny van de Beek (CM) – 7/10 – Showed great composure to lay on Rashford’s goal.
SUB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – 6/10 – His place on the bench may suggest he’s a way down the pecking order.
SUB: Will Fish (CB) – 2/10 – Sent off for a professional foul. Oh dear.
SUB: Alex Telles (CB) – 6/10 – Forced a save from a free kick.
SUB: Hannibal Mejbri (ST) – 6/10 – Popped up all over the place. Had one shot which made the keeper work.
SUB: Charlie Savage (CM) – 6/10
SUB: Anthony Elanga (LF) – 5/10
SUB: Amad Diallo (RF) – 6/10
SUB: Zidane Iqbal (CM) – 6/10
Jack Butland (GK) – N/A – Made a great stop from Martial early on, but got injured in the process. Frustrating for him with the number-one spot seemingly up for grabs.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB) – 5/10 – Nearly gifted United an opener inside 10 minutes with some poor positioning.
Joel Ward (CB) – 6/10 – Looked a little sluggish, but did score at the other end.
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 4/10 – Distributed fairly well for the most part. Caught too high on a few occasions.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 5/10 – Enjoyed a tit-for-tat running battle with Sancho. Probably came off second best overall.
Jesurun Rak-Sakyi (CM) – 6/10 – Looked a danger with his runs into the box. Close control really stands out.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 4/10 – Made several niggly fouls early on as he struggled with the pace of the game.
Killian Phillips (CM) – 5/10 – Suffered the rarest of experiences – being booked in a pre-season friendly.
Malcolm Ebiowei (RW) – 6/10 – Brave on the ball. He made De Gea work halfway through the opening period after a good run.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (ST) – 4/10 – Snatched at a handle of chances and had one chalked off for offside. Another one who could have been cautioned.
Jordan Ayew (LW) – 3/10 – Met a corner early on. Was late with a couple of challenges and got into afters with Fred after a particularly unnecessary foul. Booked…and probably should have been sent off.
SUB: Remi Matthews (GK) – 4/10 – Looked pretty shaky to be honest, though he would not have been expecting to come on so soon into the game.
SUB: Ademola Ola-Adebomi (ST) – 7/10 – Forced De Gea into a save with a decent header. Looked a handful.
SUB: Tayo Adaramola (CB) – 6/10
SUB: David Ozoh (CM) – 6/10
SUB: Jadan Raymond (CM) – 6/10
SUB: Scott Banks (RB) – 6/10
SUB: Jake O’Brien (CB) – 6/10
SUB: Cardo Siddink – N/A
SUB: Malachi Boateng – N/A
SUB: Victor Akinwale – N/A – Won the free kick that led to Fish’s sending off.