Eagles boss Tony Pulis was left disappointed in defeat to Manchester United, but took some crumbs of comfort from the continuing return to form of Glenn Murray.

The striker lasted 66 minutes in his first start since injuring his knee in the play-off semi-finals almost nine months ago.

It would ultimately end in disappointment after a Robin van Persie penalty and a thunderous Wayne Rooney volley saw the champions run out 2-0 winners.

Pulis said: “I was pleased with Glenn. It’s disappointing we couldn’t have kept him on longer, but that was enough for him today and that will do him the world of good.

“However, we needed one or two of our forward players to play a little bit better than they did in terms of retaining possession.

“You need your top players to play well, especially in the top games and Marouane [Chamakh] has been fantastic for us this year, but that was most probably one of the games where he has played poorly when in possession of the ball and he’s normally very good at that.”

Despite United creating chances throughout the first half, the home side went into the break all level and came out full of vigour in the second half, but United asserted their authority and came through in the end.

“We thought, most probably, that it was our best period just after half-time,” said Pulis, pictured.

“We have played really well against the top teams, but the penalty is most probably the turning point of the game – it takes a little bit of pressure off of United and then we have to chase it.

“Against the top teams, when you’re chasing games, it’s very, very difficult.”

Palace are now two points above the Premier League dropzone, and they go to Swansea City on Sunday.

Pulis added: “Every game we play – home or away – we’ve got to start collecting the points. We’ve got to scrap and fight for everything against every team we play against.

“We’re in it with 12 other teams so it will go right to the end.”