Things we noticed: Crystal Palace v Man Utd | Premier League | 18 January 2023

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FULL-BLOODED CASEMIRO

Give Casemiro a tightrope and he will willingly walk it, no matter the consequence. The Brazilian went into the match knowing a yellow card would see him suspended for the trip to Arsenal on Sunday, and it didn’t change his game one bit. His first half was defined by subtle touches to keep control of the ball; a flick away from the nearest opponent, then a deft toe to keep things moving. He started the second half with two vital interceptions to halt speedy Palace breaks into the box, later racing back to cut out a cross just after the hour. The yellow card we didn’t want to see came with 10 minutes to go for a foul that saved an ominous-looking chance for the home side. He’ll be a big miss against the Gunners, but Casemiro’s desire was pivotal to us getting a point.

THE BUTCHER IS BACK

It was Butcher by name, Butcher by headband for the returning Lisandro Martinez in south London. The World Cup winner started his first Premier League match since lifting the trophy in Qatar, a welcome sight for United fans everywhere. Martinez’s early head injury may have evoked memories of another Butcher for the older generation, but it didn’t slow down his combativeness one bit. His presence in central defence pushed Luke Shaw into his more familiar left-back position, but there were some interesting interchanges between the pair. Martinez often slotted into Shaw’s position when the full-back drove forwards. Shaw then sprinted back to the centre if play broke down. It was just another example of the versatility Ten Hag loves the team to show, and potentially a key tactic moving forwards.

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