Football: Lukaku double inspires Man United to 3-1 win at Palace

United's Lukaku celebrates after team mate Ashley Young scores.
United's Lukaku celebrates after team mate Ashley Young scores.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (REUTERS) - Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku rediscovered his finishing touch in fine fashion, scoring a superb goal in each half to help them to a 3-1 Premier League win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday (Feb 27).

The victory stretched United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's unbeaten league run to 11 games and boosted the Norwegian's hopes of landing the job on a permanent basis after taking over from Jose Mourinho in December.

It left United fifth on 55 points from 28 games, one behind fourth-placed Arsenal and two ahead of sixth-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand, as the three-way race for a berth in next season's Champions League intensified.

Lukaku fired United into a 33rd minute lead with a deft finish from the edge of the penalty area after a dazzling solo run by left back Luke Shaw, who beat three Palace defenders.

The Belgium striker made it 2-0 in the 52nd with a well-taken volley from a tight angle after Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof nodded an Ashley Young corner into his path.

Right back Joel Ward pulled one back for Palace midway through the second half with a diving header before Young drilled in an unstoppable low shot in the closing stages to seal United's victory.