United waved goodbye to their winning run on Wednesday night when they drew with Crystal Palace, conceding a stoppage time equaliser to settle for a point. Michael Olise scored a superb free-kick to ensure the spoils were shared, but there were still opportunities for both teams to come out on top.
Perhaps the biggest came when Zaha sprinted through on goal, about to take advantage of a one-on-one opportunity. That was until Aaron Wan-Bissaka came storming in from behind, producing a superb sliding tackle to nip the ball away from his former teammate. There was talk of Wan-Bissaka being sold until relatively recently, with the full-back coming into form under Erik ten Hag.
And speaking to Premier League Productions after the game, former Red Devils striker Owen spoke about Wan-Bissaka and his new-found form.
“I think when the teamsheets came out Wilfried Zaha saw that Wan-Bissaka was going to be marking him in that game he would’ve been thinking, ‘oh no’. Because no player wants to play against the likes of Wan-Bissaka,” he said. “His problem is obviously on the ball, going forward, but he’s improving that all the time. That was Wan-Bissaka to a tee, that is the best part of his game that late, lunging tackle where he sweeps his leg around.
“We could see it coming, if he [Zaha] takes his first touch across him, he takes Wan-Bissaka out of the game straight away, he doesn’t give him that chance to make a last-ditch tackle. He played well and in fact Zaha during the first half switched sides, he wasn’t getting any joy out of him and not many wingers do get joy out of Wan-Bissaka.
“From Manchester United’s point of view, you need your full-backs to be brilliant at the back but going forward as well, and that’s slightly where he lacks.”
Interestingly, Zaha spoke about Wan-Bissaka himself after the game, explaining: “We nearly won it at the end. Any other player [and I’m in]. As I was running through I had a little look back and thought ‘oh my god, it’s Aaron’. He’s the only one that can do a scoop tackle. It was a great tackle, I can’t say anything about it.”
He added: “That was the difference today, a never-say-die attitude. Every 50/50 going in with 100 percent and we got what we deserved.”