Did what he could without much fuss and was powerless to prevent either Van Persie or Rooney getting on the scoresheet, despite getting a hand to the latter's sweetly-struck effort.
Mata's tendency to drift inside meant he only had Smalling to occupy him for the most part, and the United man's inability to cross could be relied upon whenever his marking grew slack.
Had every right to expect a much tougher evening up against two of the most feared strikers in European football, but Rooney and Van Persie still did enough to put him on the losing side. Missed a good headed chance late on.
Cleared United 's few accurate crosses with relative ease, only looking troubled when Fellaini ventured into the box. Gave Rooney too much space to lash in United's second.
Januzaj occasionally worried him but the poor quality of the youngster's crossing meant he never paid the price. Evra's forays forward gave him problems he couldn't deal with though.
Looked menacing whenever he ran at the United defence but on the rare occasions he got a clear sight of goal his finishing let him down.
Understandably flitted in and out as his side struggled for possession, but worked hard and his crosses often resulted in Palace's most threatening moments.
Typically unfussy and reliable on the ball. Could not prevent United dominating the midfield but protected his back four reasonably well.
Worked hard to track Mata's runs whenever the Spaniard drifted inside and limited his influence effectively.
Bullied Smalling to win one early header but could not make the same kind of headway against the less compromising Vidic. Worked hard without ever threatening De Gea.
Linked play well whenever it was played into his feet and tracked back to help his midfielders frustrate United. His willingness came back to bite him on 62 minutes with a rash challenge on Evra in the box which changed the game.
Both his distribution and command of his area stood up well in the face of Palace pressure, though the home side's lack of quality in the final third ensured he rarely extended. Made one good stop to deny Jerome in the second half.
Completely dominant in the air against Murray and always tried to help his team build play from the back. Heading over the Palace crossbar from a yard out before the interval was the one stain on his performance.
Gave the performance you would expect of a centre-back playing at full-back - defensively solid enough, but never looked comfortable beyond the halfway line and, on this evidence, cannot cross a ball to save his life.
Only looks confident these days when paired with Vidic. Here he was, and he did his job well, not being bested in the air or on the floor.
Kept Ince largely quiet and got forward at every opportunity, teasing Chamakh into a foolish challenge to win the penalty and feeding Rooney for United's second.
Visibly rusty after his long injury absence, he missed a howler shortly before the interval but did not let it affect him, feeding United's attackers and bombing into the box to make a nuisance of himself.
Not his most decisive performance, but played two superbly weighted passes - one to tempt Chamakh into bringing down Evra and another to set Van Persie through to crash a shot off the crossbar.
Intelligent as always in his use of the ball, providing the passing platform for United's possession dominance.
Still appears unsure how exactly he fits into this team and is not yet ready to make a decisive difference. Given greater freedom to drift into the No.10 position from the right, the effort was there but his influence remains minimal.
R. van Persie
The penalty seemed to be just the moment the Dutchman needed to restore the old steely-eyed determination in the final third. He tucked it away nervelessly and was unlucky to see a fierce shot cannon off the crossbar soon afterwards.
Given the events of the past 24 hours this match was always going to be about United's much-maligned No.10. He was uninspired for long spells but produced a finish worthy of £300,000 a week on 68 minutes to double his side's advantage.