Manchester United kept the pressure on Leicester and Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.

The Red Devils are now back level on points with Leicester and a point behind Chelsea before facing the Blues in an FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

United were without left-backs Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams, which opened the door for Timothy Fosu-Mensah to make a rare start.

It was the defender’s first appearance for the Red Devils in 1,152 days and coincidentally his last outing also came at Selhurst Park back in May 2017.

Palace had lost their past five games, but they showed intent from the off with Wilfried Zaha forcing United keeper David De Gea into a save inside 90 seconds.

The Eagles wanted a penalty a minute before half-time when Zaha tangled with Victor Lindelof after a superb run.

Referee Graham Scott waved away appeals while VAR’s Simon Hooper adjudged the Swede to have got a touch on the ball and the hosts were left even more frustrated when United opened the scoring in the first minute of stoppage time.

Fernandes and Martial combined before the former found Rashford, who coolly cut back to get away from Patrick Van Aanholt and calmly slotted past Vicente Guaita to make it two in two after his strike against Southampton.

Palace captain Luka Milivojevic tested De Gea from a free-kick at the end of the half and 10 minutes into the second period the hosts thought they had levelled.

A stray pass from Fernandes allowed the south Londoners to win back possession. Zaha was found on the left and worked a yard of space against former team-mate Aaron Wan-Bissaka and picked out Ayew at the back post.

The Ghanaian slid home to cue celebrations, but they were cut short after VAR decided the forward was offside by the finest of margins.

A second goal was forthcoming in the 78th minute and it went to United as Martial made the three points safe.

Rashford spun away from several opponents by the halfway line and was able to lay a pass into the path of Martial, who drilled into the corner for his 22nd of the season.

Van Aanholt suffered an injury in the aftermath of the goal and had to leave the pitch on a stretcher which forced 11 minutes of stoppage time, but there was no way back for Palace and they suffered a sixth straight defeat.

Final score: Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United

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