Football fans are saying that the old Manchester United are back following an incredible comeback victory
The old Manchester United are back.
Maybe. Kind of. Not really, but hey, it felt like the good old Alex Ferguson days watching them claw their way back into a tough away game, complete with a sensational last-minute winner.
Having found themselves 1-0 at the end of a dreadful first half showing, United were left reeling when Patrick Van Aanholt put Crystal Palace two up three minutes into the second half.
Smash cut to a classic Man United comeback as Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and an incredible 91st minute strike from Nemanja Matic sealed a memorable win.
"They also deserve congratulations, because a match like this is only possible with two teams," said Jose Mourinho after the match. "I'd say maybe three things, because the referee let things go and gave the possibility for the game."
"We had amazing attitude," added Mourinho. "We had very good quality football in the second half, but we made so many defensive mistakes, and I'm speaking about my team generally. I don't like my teams to lose defensive shape, but it was an amazing football match and a great victory for us."
Gary Neville, meanwhile, felt that United were arguably never really fully out of it.
"Once United got the first goal, I think that Roy Hodgson thought to himself on the sidelines - 'We're going to have to do well to hang on here for the next 20 minutes," said Neville on Sky Sports' post-match analysis, before going on to single out Juan Mata as a key difference-maker for United.
"I said at half time that it looked nothing like a Jose Mourinho performance," added Neville. "The second half, particularly the last 20 minutes - that was a Jose Mourinho performance."
Quite the contrast to Neville's scathing criticism of Paul Pogba following the first half.
"It's like everything he does is like a YouTube or Instagram video," he said. "It's like he's not serious, it's like a joke to him."
Gary Lineker was among those praising the more attack-minded United by the game's conclusion.
Must say @ManUtd appear a much better team when they’re more adventurous, forced on them on this occasion, of course, but nevertheless.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 5, 2018
Elsewhere on Twitter, football fans rushed to hail the unlikely comeback:
The second half is classic Man United of old.
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) March 5, 2018
No matter what, what Man United have done tonight deserves proper praise.
Two goals down, winning 3-2 is massive especially against a side that beat Chelsea and drew with the devastating Man City
— Thierry Nyann (@nyannthierry) March 5, 2018
*clears throat, straightens tie authoritatively* “I think it’s safe to say, United... are back!”
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) March 5, 2018
While others pointed to Mourinho rather getting out of jail at the last minute:
A needed win for United but so much doesn't feel right. Subs in second half worked; should probably show Jose he got initial XI wrong.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) March 5, 2018
So there it is. They're back! Sort of. Maybe next season, eh?