London: Manchester United kept their hopes of finishing in the top four to qualify for next year’s Champions League as the Red Devils secured a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Thursday.

A rather empty Old Trafford witnessed an attack-minded United after a lacklustre performance against Aston Villa last Saturday. Rarely have so many fans stayed away from a Premier League match that carried some meaning. United, however, had other plans.

An own goal by Damien Delaney in the fourth minute put Louis van Gaal’s men ahead before Matteo Darmain’s 55th minute brilliance shut Palace out.

The Italian defender beat Julian Speroni to claim his first ever goal for the Red Devils when a corner by Blind was headed out of the box only to find Darmain who left-footed a scorcher past a flying Crystal Palace goal keeper.

Both sides will be involved in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley over the weekend. Manchester United will lock horns with Everton on April 23 while Palace will face Watford the next day.