Manchester United labored to a 0-0 draw in the deep mist of Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park on Wednesday, an underwhelming result that could leave them worried about the chasing pack outside the top four with just two wins from their last eight Premier League matches.
The point extended United's unbeaten run away from home in the Premier League to 21 games, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's thunderous face at full time suggested that he was far from impressed by his side's showing away to a diligent Crystal Palace side, who remain in 13th and are now 11 points from the relegation zone.
Nemanja Matic's fearsome drive brought a smart save from Vicente Guaita in a first half where Palace were all too willing to sit deep and soak up pressure. United did little to charm their way through that backline and when they did get half a chance they would often find one last defender blocking their path, with Joel Ward making a crucial intervention to keep Aaron Wan-Bissaka's fine cross from Edinson Cavani just before the break.
The second half brought ever-deepening fog at Selhurst Park but it would be a generous viewer who said that that was a justification for a plodding display from United. Indeed Palace looked the more likely scorers early in the half, Jordan Ayew hitting their first shot on target in the 51st minute. Though substitute Daniel James found space for an unmarked header late on it would have been far more than the visitors deserved if they had netted a late winner.
Instead they find themselves looking over their shoulders somewhat, just seven points clear of Chelsea in fifth having played a game more.
Manchester United player ratings
Dean Henderson: As is so often the way for Henderson, he came into the side when there was little chance that he would have anything to do. In the first half he didn't even have a save to make. He was not much busier in the second though he saved excellently late on from Patrick van Aanholt, though it would likely have been given offside had the Palace left-back scored. Rating: 6
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Against his former club there were impressive flashes in an attacking sense from a player who is clearly not a natural on the front foot, including one brilliant delivery in the first half. Rating: 6
Craving even more coverage of the world's game? Listen below and subscribe to ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.
Eric Bailly: He performed admirably when Christian Benteke looked to target him in aerial duels but his lack of confidence in possession was apparent in Palace's decision to begin infrequent presses of the United defense whenever he had the ball. Rating: 5
Harry Maguire: Usually when United are struggling for punch and ball progression in midfield Maguire can be relied on to charge into midfield. He seemed unusually reluctant to do so tonight on what was a quiet night for the captain. Rating: 5
Luke Shaw: His commitment to the attack in the first half was admirable and impressive, Shaw continually looking to stretch Palace's defense down the left flank. He struggled to replicate that thrust as consistently in the second but still looked to one of his side's most dangerous weapons and delivered a tempting cross for James to head wide late on. Rating: 7
Fred: That he did not misplace a single one of his 31 passes in the first half was both a blessing and a curse. Of course it is encouraging to see such composure on the ball but equally when only five of those passes move United forward it is fair to ask whether the Brazilian was acting as a handbrake to the attacking play of his side. Moving into the second half he brought the same slow pace to attack but with clumsier passing. Rating: 4
Nemanja Matic: But for a superb save by Vicente Guaita, Matic would have reprised his wonder strike from this fixture in 2018. That was the only notable contribution he made to this game, one of many players lost in the actual and metaphorical fog. Rating: 5
Mason Greenwood: The youngster's propensity for powerful efforts from the edge seemed well suited for Palace's low block, something to draw them out of from their own penalty area, and a curling effort in the 81st minute very nearly beat Guaita. Yet more often than not the Eagles were quick to him whenever he got into a theoretical shooting and he was slow to get the ball into his best spots. Rating: 4
Bruno Fernandes: When your attacking game all too often devolves to "give it Fernandes" on tough occasions you cannot complain when it backfires. Without Paul Pogba to take on some of the creative burden behind him too much pressure fell on Fernandes' shoulders and for once he could not deliver. Rating: 4
Marcus Rashford: After a bright start his touch seemed to desert him, a string of attacking moves falling apart thanks to Rashford's heavy touch. Rating: 4
Edinson Cavani: The veteran striker always seems to offer something to his fellow attackers in the build-up, serving as a target to bounce passes off and using his shrewd movement to drag defenders to spots they don't want to be. Of course he is in the team to score chances as much as to make space and he would be very disappointed with his miss in the 13th minute. Rating: 5
Scott McTominay (sub, Fred, 74'): He looked to bring his customary verticality to the game from the outset and one drive into the box brought rare pressure on the Palace defense. Rating: 5
Daniel James (sub, Cavani, 76'): The Welsh winger spurned United's best chance of the second half, heading poorly when unmarked. Only he will know to what extent the fog at Selhurst Park made it more difficult for him to get the effort away. Rating: 5