Nemanja Matic condemned Crystal Palace to injury-time heartbreak after Manchester United came back from two down to win 3-2.

Andros Townsend scored after 10 minutes when his shot deflected off Victor Lindelof, before Patrick van Aanholt made it two shortly after the half restarted.

Chris Smalling made it 2-1 on 55 minutes, then Romelu Lukaku clinched the equaliser, only for Matic to rifle home a long-range volley in added time for 3-2.

Palace began with real urgency and alertness to force the visitors on to the backfoot, with ambitious passes into their front two forwards from speedster Andros Townsend and skipper Luka Milivojevic.

Benteke found space on the edge of the 18-yard box to drill in a pass to Townsend before a crack at goal deflected off the Sweden international and past a helpless David de Gea for 1-0 after 10 minutes.

Soon after the opener went in it almost became two inside six minutes when another corner was won and James McArthur went down inside the box, prompting penalty calls which were eventually dismissed by referee Neil Swarbrick.

Chances were had given the interplay by Lingard, Sánchez, Pogba, and Lukaku – with the latter at times getting space ahead of Tomkins only for shot-stopper Wayne Hennessey to lay claim.

Minutes before the end Palace looked to attack when a van Aanholt pass took Valencia completely out of the move, only for midfielder Scott McTominay to bring him down with a very poor challenge on 41 minutes.

With Palace in the lead, the home side continued after the restart how they approached the opening 10 minutes, by putting the opposition under duress.

It paid dividends – a quick free-kick by Palace caught Valencia asleep leaving van Aanholt with clear sight of goal, finishing with aplomb for 2-0 three minutes in and leaving United stunned.

But Hennessey would not have his clean sheet though as Smalling found space to head clearly into the bottom corner of the net on 55 minutes – game on.

United asserted themselves as time elapsed – corners and chances began to arise – and they were rewarded for their efforts when Lukaku found enough space to slot the ball in, with scores now level.

Hodgson’s side almost erased the lead when Benteke found space time shortly after, and again when de Gea denied his excellent header when it was parried past the post.

The opposition pressed for the winner and found it when Matic rifled a volley in from 25 yards out and into the bottom corner of the net, deflating the Palace players who had performed so admirably.

Palace continue to fight off relegation while Mourinho’s men clinch a much-needed three points ahead of their derby clash with Liverpool at the weekend.