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Matic thunderbolts his way in fans’ hearts

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Manchester United’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic celebrates scoring his team’s winner against Crystal Palace

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 6 – Twitter is always the place to be when Manchester United wants to decide on their Man of the Match, as they give the fans the chance to vote for their favourite player.

Nemanja Matic was named as United’s best performer on Monday night to give the Red Devils a cracker of a win at Selhurst Park. The Serbian scored a startling goal to secure an impressive come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Crystal Palace.

Andros Townsend had opened the scoring early on for Palace before Patrick van Aanholt made it two just after the break but United hit back through Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and ultimately Matic.

Matic has managed to claim the accolade four times since his debut with the club, after he was named Man of the Match in their 4-0 wins over West Ham and Everton, and in the 2-1 victory against West Brom Albion back in December.

The Serbian scored a 30-yard thunderbolt but also put in an impressive performance on the field, managing to complete 73 passes in the game – a record no other midfielder has managed on the pitch.

The 29-year-old was thrilled with his contribution to their incredible win and it was deemed an even more wonderful feat as it was his first goal in a United shirt.

“I’m happy I’ve scored my first goal for Manchester United. I know it’s not my job but I’m glad it got us the three points,” he told the club’s website.

The men in Red managed to turn the game around and remove any form of doubt that the fans and manager may have had after Crystal Palace took a two-goal lead.

“After the second goal it was very difficult for us to come back; we showed character and did exactly what the manager wanted us to do. In these kind of games, if we can manage to win we can compete for the title. The quality is there but we have to be honest – we need to do more,” Matic added.

United boss Jose Mourinho, who previously worked with Matic at Chelsea, told his club’s website that it is not the first time the midfielder has found the net from long range – as he recalled goals he scored against Everton and Sporting in the Champions league.

“He scored with Chelsea an amazing goal like this one at Goodison Park against Everton,” Mourinho said.

“He scored a winning goal in Lisbon in the Champions League against Sporting; he’s scored a few goals – not many – but he’s scored a few goals.”

Mourinho further added: “This season against Benfica, it was half a goal for him and half a goal for the Benfica goalkeeper [Mile Svilar]. But it is a goal of two extra points.”

Matic will continue to be a key player for the club ahead of a run of three successive home games in three different competitions, starting with a visit of rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford on Saturday.

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