Marouane Fellaini's purple patch and other things learned from Man United's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace

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Manchester United cruised to a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.

A Juan Mata opener was followed by a brace from Marouane Fellaini before Romelu Lukaku applied the finishing touch with a fourth goal.

It was United’s sixth game this season in which they’ve scored four goals.

Here’s what we learned from the encounter.

RASHFORD WON’T ABIDE BY MARTIAL LAW

Anthony Martial has been in great form this season and was the star in United’s 4-1 win away to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in midweek. It’s no wonder that many have called for him to get more starts, particularly in the Premier League.

However, Jose Mourinho persisted with Rashford, who has been on a good run himself, and he showed just the United boss prefers him to start game in the league. Th 19-year-old was quick off the blocks, leaving Joel Ward for dead and setting up Mata for the opener.

He was relentless down that left side, causing problems throughout. It was his whipped free-kick that Fellaini managed to get a touch on to score United’s third.

Martial may be knocking on the door for a second league start this season, coming off the bench to set up the fourth goal as well, but for now, Rashford continues to make sure it’s bolted shut.

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford

IT WAS ONLY A MATA OF TIME

Given the complex relationship between Mata and Mourinho, it’s been somewhat surprising that the United boss has handed the midfielder six starts in the first eight league games.

However, the Spaniard has repaid the manager’s faith with some excellent displays, linking up well with the attacking players, creating chances and being involved in some great moves.

What has been missing though, rather surprisingly, is a goal or assist. Mata is renowned for his goals and assists ratio despite often having to make do with limited time on the pitch.

He put an end to his drought against Palace though when he broke the deadlock in the third minute.

Juan Mata

Juan Mata

PROLIFIC FELLA

Fellaini has always divided opinion among United fans but continues to be ever so effective when called upon.

With Paul Pogba injured, the Belgian has stepped into the midfield alongside Nemanja Matic and bagged two goals on the day, taking his tally to four for the season.

In fact, Fellaini is enjoying something of a purple patch at the moment with all four of those goals coming in his last five games.

Marouane Fellaini

Marouane Fellaini

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Player ratings and round-up as Harry Kane leads Spurs to victory over Huddersfield

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Harry Kane’s stunning September continued as he added two more goals to his growing collection and handed Huddersfield their first hammering of the season.

After bidding farewell to his customary barren August, Kane has now scored 13 times in his last eight games for club and country, clinically finishing a counter-attack in the ninth minute then bending home left-footed with a cracker from 20 yards.

Ben Davies netted in between, a deft touch over Jonas Lossl to cap a silky passing move, and substitute Moussa Sissoko capped a bad day for the Terriers, making it 4-0 in injury-time.

STAR MAN

Harry Kane. Who else? Tottenham’s superstar and a match-winner to rival any of the Premier League’s collected talent. Kane never once looked like missing when offered the chance to open the scoring on the break, and then created and finished his second with assertive brilliance.

The only real surprise was that he did not manage to grab his seventh hat-trick of the calendar year. When two goals feels like an opportunity missed, you know you have something special.

Harry Kane's remarkable September ended with another fantastic display.

Harry Kane’s remarkable September ended with another fantastic display.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

Kane’s Spurs predecessor, Gary Lineker, is in awe of the England striker’s productivity on the road.

DELE’S DISAPPOINTING HABIT

Dele Alli is a wonderful, instinctive player but among his many laudable qualities is a tendency to hit the deck too easily, particularly inside the box. He was booked here for taking a tumble in the opposition area and it is not the first time. A caution for simulation against Fiorentina saw him banned for a Europa League knockout clash with Borussia Dortmund and he saw yellow for the same reason in a match against Manchester United.

He has also been accused of going to ground softly in games against Bayer Leverkusen, Swansea and during England’s Euro 2016 defeat by Iceland. It is a theme he needs to put to bed.

SPURS TAME TERRIERS DEFENCE

Huddersfield came into this match with a defensive record bettered only by the title-chasing Manchester sides, having conceded only three times in six matches.

That number had already doubled by the 24th minute, as Spurs finally sowed the seeds of doubt in a backline hitherto expertly marshalled by Christopher Schindler and Mathias Jorgensen.

Having kicked off with a goal difference of plus two, one half against Mauricio Pochettino’s men was enough to send them back into negative territory.

PLAYER RATINGS

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

Jonas Lossl: 5 (out of 10)
Tommy Smith: 6
Mathias Jorgensen: 5
Christopher Schindler: 6
Chris Lowe: 5
Jonathan Hogg: 6
Aaron Mooy: 5
Elias Kachunga: 5
Tom Ince: 6
Rajiv van La Parra: 5
Laurent Depoitre: 6

Substitutes

Scott Malone (for Lowe): 5
Philip Billing (for Mooy): 6
Dean Whitehead (for Hogg): 6

TOTTENHAM

Hugo Lloris: 6
Toby Alderweireld: 7
Davinson Sanchez: 7
Jan Vertonghen: 7
Kieran Trippier: 8
Ben Davies: 8
Eric Dier: 7
Harry Winks: 8
Christian Eriksen: 8
Dele Alli: 7
Harry Kane: 9

Substitutes

Moussa Sissoko (for Eriksen): 7
Kyle Walker-Peters (for Trippier): 6
Son Heung-min (for Kane): 5

Kane was the star of the show, scoring two wonderful goals.

Kane was the star of the show, scoring two wonderful goals.

WHO’S UP NEXT?

Swansea v Huddersfield (Premier League, October 14)
Tottenham v Bournemouth (Premier League, October 14)

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Tottenham's Harry Kane believes he's in the form of his life after brace against Huddersfield

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Harry Kane

Harry Kane believes he is in the best form of his life after netting two more goals in Tottenham’s 4-0 victory at Huddersfield.

Kane took just nine minutes to open the scoring at the John Smith’s Stadium and Ben Davies added a second moments later.

England striker Kane then doubled his tally for the day midway through the first half as Spurs threatened to run riot.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were forced to wait until added time in the second half for their fourth, scored by Moussa Sissoko, but Kane again stole the headlines.

The 24-year-old has now scored 13 goals in eight games for club and country since the start of September – having once again failed to notch in the month of August.

Asked if he has ever felt more on top of his game, Kane told Sky Sports: “Probably not.

“If you look at the goals to games it’s probably the best month I’ve had, especially after August.

“It’s nice, I feel good, I feel confident, when these boys are up the pitch putting in good crosses and through balls and I’m just there to put them away.

“I’m delighted with the win, it’s been a great week for the team, and we’ve just got to continue that after the international break.”

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