I was happy in the haze of five home wins in a row but heaven knows I’m miserable now. 

Barring the trees United pulled up v Man City and pantomime goalkeeper v Everton, three of those wins came against poor opposition in Cardiff, Huddersfield and Burnley. 

Palace were an entirely different prospect having won six on the road before this one, but despite that pre-kick off I was thinking we’d get three points to put any relegation doubts to bed, and we could crack on with making sure Rafa is here next season. 

My pre-match confidence was tempered by an early shot across the bows by Crystal Palace in the second minute. What followed was a decent 20 min spell from United with the crowd getting involved as Almirón tried to make a mark on the game with his pace and direct play. 

United continued to look dangerous in attack, Rondón having a goal disallowed for offside and you thought it’s only a matter of time before we score… 

But then things went flat, Zaha was coming into the game and the atmosphere dropped to the point I could hear our defence being marshalled by Dubravka. 

Things picked up after Almirón chased and managed to retrieve a lost cause he had no right to make. His pace is absolutely blistering. 

United created a few more chances through Rondón but our play was halted by some Palace gamesmanship as Batshuayi made the most of an innocuous challenge from the impressive Hayden who’s tackling was excellent today. 

Palace had a goal disallowed themselves just before the break, James McArthur adjudged to be interfering with play as Tompkins swept home. The flag was late in coming resulting in some poor Palace fan spunking his smoke bomb unnecessarily. 

John Tudor was presented with a framed shirt by Bob Moncur and Supermac which I found quite emotional as fans in the Strawberry Corner sang “Hallelujah, John Tudor”. 

United made a positive start to the second half with opportunities for Ki, Pérez and Lejuene, the Frenchman’s header from a corner going straight into the keeper’s arms. Anywhere else it surely would have been a goal. 

Rondón, obviously full of confidence, was on free-kick duty today. He blasted one high and wide from a difficult angle in the first half, and his effort from a more central position in the second wasn’t much better. 

I jumped my height as Yedlin’s strike on the hour mark looking destined for the top corner went agonisingly wide, this was quickly followed by what looked like a bad injury to Lejuene who was stretchered off. At this point I began to think it just wasn’t going to be our day. 

Dummett was brought on for the injured Lejuene in a straight swap that no one seemed to mind, but maybe this was an opportunity to bring on someone higher up the pitch after being so wasteful with our opportunities? But the manager waited until 76 mins to bring Shelvey on for Ki. 

By this point Yedlin and Ritchie’s inability to cross a ball was really getting on my wick. If we’re to consistently win games in the Premier League this aspect of our game will need to improve vastly. 

Disaster struck with alarming inevitability on 80 mins Palace won their usual pen, the referee given no option but to award it as Yedlin brought down Zaha in the box. Milivojevic dispatched in his usual fashion. It suddenly became apparent what a grey and miserable Tyneside day it was and regret that I’d chosen a 4% beer instead of something stronger pre-match started to sink in. 

United had a couple of chances towards the end, Pérez heading over and a few corners but the masses had given up the ghost as people began to leave, their preference being to watch a horse race. 

Palace weren’t very good today yet they’ve managed to beat us through shithousing their way through the game, stopping any momentum we gained by feigning injuries and the usual gamesmanship associated teams down the bottom end of the table. That’s fine but we seem to fall for this type of performance regularly. 

More questions than answers from United today. 

PAUL LYON – @lyon1892