Football: Marcelo sticks the knife into Palace
Sheffield United 3 Marcelo 19, 45, Ford 73 Crystal Palace 1 Morrison 90 Half-time: 2-0 Attendance: 11,886
Sunday 05 September 1999
Fraser Digby was at fault for the first two, scored by the Brazilian striker Marcelo, and although Palace looked the better side for the first 20 minutes of the second period, Bobby Ford's tap-in from a rebound off the post ended any hope of an unlikely comeback.
The Palace manager Steve Coppell directed his disappointment not at his players but at the would-be owners who are dithering over buying his club.
"They should put up or shut up. This is getting ridiculous. They have to start contributing financially as of now. They should start taking decisions now or a third of the season will be over before the takeover is complete and we will be left picking up the pieces."
His players found themselves picking up pieces from the whistle as United dominated the first half, although 20 minutes had gone before Sean Murphy found Paul Devlin down the right. Digby got a hand to his low cross but could only parry it to Marcelo for a simple tap-in.
Martin Smith sent a snapshot wide and drove another into Digby's midriff before Marcelo scored his second on the stroke of half-time. The substitute Wayne Quinn was the provider this time, and Digby was again at fault, mistiming his punch to allow Marcelo to head into an empty net from close range.
To their credit, Palace responded by taking the game to United whose goalkeeper Aidan Davison, standing in for the suspended Simon Tracey, failed to cling on to a sliced clearance by his own defender Jody Craddock and was relieved to concede a corner, which he flapped at before his defenders scrambled the ball away.
Davison's previous appearance had been in the Blades' 6-1 defeat at Manchester City but he recovered his confidence to get his body behind a deflected Steve Thomson shot.
But the Eagles could not sustain their revival and Devlin came close to increasing United's lead with an angled shot that shaved a post which Martin Smith hit shortly afterwards with an almost identical drive. This time Ford was running in to tap in the rebound.
Marcelo narrowly missed a hat-trick when his shot across the face of goal flashed past the post and Morrison's goal for Palace from Simon Rodger's corner in the final minute offered Coppell little consolation. But the ease of United's victory did not satisfy their manager Adrian Heath who described it as their worst performance of the season.
"The result was good but the performance wasn't. Had we been playing a team with greater confidence than Palace we would have been well beaten," he said. "Fortunately our two centre-halves were on top of their game but that level of performance is not acceptable."
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...