Manchester United held to goalless draw at Crystal Palace
Manchester United were held to a third successive 0-0 draw in all competitions after they failed to break down Crystal Palace in a dour Premier League clash played in foggy conditions at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
The result left United second on 51 points from 27 games, 14 behind runaway leaders Manchester City ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday while Palace stayed 13th on 34 points.
After goalless stalemates at Chelsea on Sunday and against Real Sociedad, which completed a 4-0 aggregate win over the Spanish side in the Europa League last Thursday, a weary-looking United lacked edge again.
Striker Edinson Cavani was a surprise starter after missing the last four games with a muscle injury and he spurned a gilt-edged chance in the 14th minute when he skied a close-range shot over the bar.
Nemanja Matic and Marcus Rashford also went close for United in the first half before a superb Joel Ward clearance denied Cavani a tap-in from three metres in the 44th minute.
Andros Townsend fired just wide for Palace on the hour and the home side then missed the game's best chance in the 90th minute as Dean Henderson kept out Patrick van Aanholt who was one-on-one with the United goalkeeper.
Van Aanholt racially abused on social media after game
Van Aanholt was subjected to racist abuse on Instagram following Wednesday's Premier League draw. He tweeted "Why we kneel..." with a photo of the racist messages he received on Instagram after the goalless draw at Selhurst Park, where he missed a 90th-minute sitter.
Players in the Premier League have been taking a knee before matches since July, initially in support of the "Black Lives Matter" movement before the Premier League and English Football League linked the gesture to their own anti-racism campaigns.
Manchester United trio Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, Chelsea's Reece James, West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers, Southampton's Alex Jankewitz and Arsenal's Willian and Eddie Nketiah have all been victims of online racist abuse in recent months.
The increase in online abuse of players has prompted English soccer bodies to put pressure on social media companies to tackle the problem.