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Manchester United in disbelief as two quick-fire blows hand Arsenal an unlikely boost at Crystal Palace

And you can hardly blame him either, as in the final stages of this game against Crystal Palace his side were dealt two hammer blows.

First, in the 81st minute, Casemiro was booked for a wild lunge that sent Wilfried Zaha tumbling to the floor. It was the Brazilian fifth booking of the season and he will now crucially miss Sunday’s match at Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Ten Hag was left shaking his head after that, perhaps frustrated he hadn’t taken the midfielder off sooner.

Eleven minutes later the United boss was once again stood in his dugout in disbelief as this time Michael Olise delivered the second hammer blow, curling a brilliant free-kick into the top corner off the underside of the crossbar.

It cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ first-half opener and brought an end to Ten Hag’s side nine-game winning streak.

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That will be of frustration to Ten Hag, who will have known that a win here would have really fired United into the title race. They are certainly in the hunt, moving up to third with this draw, but they are eight points off Arsenal having played a game more.

Of bigger frustration to Ten Hag, however, will be the fact that Casemiro is now out of Sunday’s huge game at Emirates Stadium.

When United beat Arsenal this season, it was Antony who played a decisive role. But with the two sides due to meet again, the stage looked set for a different Brazilian to take centre stage.

That was certainly the feeling you had watching Casemiro for 80 minutes of this game at Selhurst Park.

The Brazilian looked the part against Palace, marshalling the midfield with so much composure. The closest anyone got to him in the opening hour was when a fan ran on the pitch and stopped the 30-year-old for a selfie.

Stunner: Michael Olise’s wonderful free-kick handed Palace a point

/ Getty Images

Eyebrows were raised in the summer when United agreed a deal worth £70million to sign him from Real Madrid, however it looks like money well spent.

He has brought stability to a midfield that for years has looked rudderless and his experience, both on and off the pitch, is clearly invaluable.

Now, however, he will be a huge miss for United on Sunday and will no doubt be cursing the fact one rash tackle marred what was otherwise an excellent performance against Palace.

The coolest man at Selhurst Park lost his head for a split second and Arsenal, just as much as Palace, were the beneficiaries of that.

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have got a huge boost ahead of Sunday before a ball has even been kicked.

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