The win lifted United back into second place, above Liverpool, in the race for Champions League qualification behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
It is not going to be easy for Manchester United to win tonight - Palace are in a poor run of form (2D, 3L in last 5 games) but are notoriously hard to beat at home....last time out, Spurs needed a very late Harry Kane goal to snatch the three points, and before that Palace were unbeaten in three, including THAT 0-0 draw against Manchester City where they missed a last gasp penalty to win the game. However, their last two sorties away from their home fortress have meant they have come back empty handed and without a goal to show for their efforts, as lackadaisical as they have been, and before that they allowed Leicester to snatch a point at the King Power before more usual away day wins at Burnley and Everton.
"We want to finish second, but it is huge pressure for us to finish in the top four. It's very important because it gives us the points but also a good feeling".
When Townsend struck the opening goal it was the first time Palace had led United in the Premier League and the home fans could hardly believe their eyes when their Dutch worldwide Van Aanholt beat De Gea at his near post with a rasping drive.
Asked to reveal what he had said at half-time, United boss Jose Mourinho said: "I can not tell you half of the things that I told (to the players)".
The hosts took an early lead through a deflected strike from Andros Townsend, and seemed to be on their way to all three points when Patrick van Aanholt doubled the advantage three minutes into the second-half. But what I can say was all about the tactical positioning. In the first half Alexis (Sanchez) was on the left, in the second half he was behind Lukaku. Here, we list our three main reasons why.
"I can not tell you half of the things I told my team at half-time because there would be lots of bleeping on television". We gambled a little bit with a two against two at the back without Matic's protection in front of them.
With nine games left, Palace are third from bottom with 27 points but only a point outside the safety zone.
Palace boss said he was obviously disappointed with the result.
"I didn't think we were that much in danger".