The Red Devils Suffer First Pre-Season Defeat to Crystal Palace

The Red Devils experienced their first defeat of the 2023/24 pre-season campaign yesterday evening against Premier League side Crystal Palace. In a tough match, the Reds found themselves conceding four goals within the first 25 minutes, with England international Eberechi Eze among the goalscorers.


Scott Lindsey‘s team faced a difficult start to the game, but goalkeeper Corey Addai delivered an excellent reflex save to deny Jean-Philippe Mateta in the opening exchanges. Mateta received an inviting cross and stretched out his boot to send the ball into the net, but Addai displayed his expertise with a remarkable save.


Unfortunately for Crawley, their luck did not last long. Mateta scored the first goal, towering above the Reds’ defense to direct a powerful header into the net in the 8th minute. Less than 10 minutes later, Mateta found the net again from the edge of the box, prompting some faint appeals for offside from the crowd.


Crystal Palace’s third goal showcased excellent teamwork, with Eze finishing the move with finesse. The Premier League side controlled possession in the midfield before progressing towards the goal. Eventually, the ball reached Eze on the edge of the box, allowing him to shift past his marker and send the ball into the top corner, earning applause even from Crawley fans.


Before Lindsey’s team had a chance to recover from the third goal, they conceded a fourth. Naouirou Ahamada scored this time, sliding an effort underneath Addai after a fluid sequence of play near the Crawley penalty area.



The Red Devils did have a couple of opportunities to score before halftime. Danilo Orsi forced a routine save from Sam Johnstone with a long-range shot, while Joy Mukena’s effort was tipped over the crossbar by the Palace goalkeeper.


Crawley’s best chance of the game came in the 78th minute when Nick Tsaroulla saw a stunning looping volley hit the inside of the post. Kellan Gordon delivered an inviting cross into the Palace penalty area, but the defense only partially cleared the ball. Tsaroulla seized the opportunity and sent the ball looping towards the goal, but it struck the woodwork, denying Crawley a goal.


Ultimately, the final whistle marked the end of a challenging pre-season test for Lindsey’s side. According to a report by, the match highlighted areas that need improvement as they prepare for the upcoming season.


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