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Man Utd star labelled ‘a fish out of water’ in 1-0 loss vs Crystal Palace in Premier League



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Manchester United struggled during their 1-0 loss in the Premier League against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The defeat comes just four days after United beat The Eagles 3-0 in the Carabao Cup. But they were unable to replicate the result against a stronger Palace side.

Erik ten Hag only made four changes from the side that beat Roy Hodgson’s side midweek, but the performance flattened and former Premier League striker Chris Sutton believes that new signing Sofyan Amrabat looked like ‘a fish out of water’ playing on the left.

With Sergio Reguilon, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia all unavailable, the Moroccan has played at left-back on his full debut on Tuesday and his second start on Saturday.

It was a comfortable night in the Carabao Cup but the 27-year-old was tested more times on the flank this time around. He gave away the foul which led to Palace’s goal, although that was shortly after possession was gifted away several times by his teammates.

Yet, Amrabat also gave away a foul on the edge of his box after handling the ball shortly after being taken on. It doesn’t look like the player is entirely comfortable in such situations despite looking sharp when drifting inside.

“Given away a free kick, being driven back towards his own goal by Ayew and he palms it, a keeper would be proud of that,” Sutton told BBC Radio 5Live. “He’s not looked comfortable in that left back position today, like a fish out of water.”

The positive is that Amrabat has completed 171 passes across the two games he played, coming off after 60 minutes midweek too. That is something that helps United begin to dominate games and they have dominated both games but failed to take advantage of their possession this time around after Palace shut up shop following their opener.

“Crystal Palace more than deserved their win,” Sutton added. “We know that if they get their noses in front they are a very, very difficult side to break down. A fantastic strike from Andersen and a fantastic defensive display.

“On the other hand Manchester United only forced Sam Johnstone into a few routine saves, there were a few good clearances from Palace defenders but aside from that they struggled to create. A worrying afternoon for Erik ten Hag.”