Dull Manchester United held to 0-0 home draw by Crystal Palace

Jose Mourinho: Manchester United manager

A tepid Manchester United dented their hopes of catching up with the English Premier League’s top four after failing to spark against 15th-placed Crystal Palace on Saturday.

A dour 0-0 home draw left Manchester United in seventh place on 21 points from 13 games.

They are 14 adrift of leaders Manchester City, 4-0 winners over hosts West ham United, and nine behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who beat fourth-placed Chelsea 3-1 later on Saturday.

Striker Romelu Lukaku returned to Manchester United’s starting line-up after being dropped in four previous games in all competitions.

But he looked rusty and the home side were fortunate to scrape a share of the spoils against the more adventurous visitors.

Wilfried Zaha and Patrick Van Aanholt came close for Crystal Palace in the opening half and Cheikhou Kouyate had a goal correctly disallowed for marginal offside.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey denied Jesse Lingard at the other end.

Lukaku also had a goal scrapped for fractional offside in the 57th minute before Andros Townsend spurned a gilt-edged chance for Crystal Palace.

He shot wide from 10 metres after a good solo run.

Having introduced Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez in the second half, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho finished the match with all his forwards on the pitch.

But the home side failed to carve out any supply routes in the closing stages.

Meanwhile, in other English Premier League matches played on Saturday, Fulham beat Southampton 3-2, while Everton beat Cardiff 1-0.

Brighton and Leicester drew 1-1, just as Liverpool beat hosts Watford 3-0.(Reuters/NAN)