https://www.sportinglife.com-Manchester United failed to find the net for a third consecutive game
Man Utd battle out boring draw with Crystal Palace as ten-man Sheffield United get a fourth win of the season against Villa and Leicester and Burnley draw.
Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United: A game of few chances
Manchester United fired a third consecutive blank and had to settle for a point at Crystal Palace to all but see their Premier League title challenge end.
A day after rivals Manchester City made it 21 wins in a row to open up a 15-point gap at the top, the Red Devils were left frustrated in a goalless draw with the Eagles and have won only one of their last five matches in the division.
Chances were few and far between and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have now gone 285 minutes without a goal heading into Sunday’s derby at the Etihad.
David De Gea missed the trip to London due to personal reasons and it resulted in Dean Henderson being handed only his third league start this season.
In foggy and cold conditions, the United goalkeeper was called into action early at Selhurst Park but gathered two crosses with ease while Christian Benteke volleyed over from a promising position for the hosts.
Opposite number Vicente Guaita was required after 13 minutes and produced a fine save to deny Nemanja Matic’s deflected strike before Edinson Cavani poked over from the resulting corner with the opening exchanges end-to-end.
But the game soon died down and a timid second-half exposed United’s lack of creativity when star man Bruno Fernandes has a rare off day.
Sheffield United 1-0 Aston Villa: Blades stun Villa
Sheffield United showed there is fight left in them yet after battling with 10 men for more than half an hour to win 1-0 against Aston Villa.
David McGoldrick’s first-half goal put the bottom-of-the-table Blades in front but they faced an uphill task to hang on to that lead when Phil Jagielka was sent off early in the second half.
But the remaining 10 Blades stood firm and defended solidly and will feel they have kept alive their faint hopes of pulling off the greatest of escapes.
It would still take a brave person to bet against Chris Wilder’s side being relegated, with a 12-point chasm left to bridge in the remaining 11 matches.
Villa, meanwhile, still harbour hopes of European qualification but must show they are capable of winning without captain Jack Grealish, absent again at Bramall Lane with a lower leg injury, if those ambitions are to be realised.
Burnley 1-1 Leicester: Schmeichel stars in draw
Kasper Schmeichel came to injury-ravaged Leicester’s rescue with some vital saves at Burnley as the Foxes avoided three successive defeats for the first time under Brendan Rodgers.
After Matej Vydra’s first Premier League goal in more than a year was cancelled out by Kelechi Iheanacho’s fantastic first-half volley, Schmeichel came to the fore for a Leicester side without several first-team players.
Schmeichel kept out headers from James Tarkowski and Chris Wood before Ashley Westwood hit a post and although Leicester rallied late on, with Youri Tielemans also denied by the goal frame, the sides settled for a 1-1 draw.
Leicester have lost to Slavia Prague in the Europa League and Arsenal in the top flight in the last week, and they may have feared the worst when they fell behind as Vydra ended a league goal drought lasting 1,212 minutes.
Iheanacho equalised but this still felt like a missed opportunity for Champions League-chasing Leicester, who remain third. Burnley moved six points clear of the relegation zone but they too may rue their missed chances.