Palace comeback reminded Chris Smalling of Ferguson-era Man United

Mou: Amazing comeback, but too many defensive mistakes (1:34)

Jose Mourinho was pleased with his Manchester United's reaction after half-time, but rued their defensive instability throughout the match. (1:34)

LONDON -- Chris Smalling says Manchester United's comeback against Crystal Palace proves the spirit of Sir Alex Ferguson's great teams is still alive at Old Trafford

Ferguson's United became famous for fighting back in dramatic style to win games with late goals.

Jose Mourinho's team battled back from 2-0 down at Selhurst Park on Monday night to win 3-2 thanks to Nemanja Matic's stunning stoppage-time winner.

It was the first time in four years that United have come back from two goals down to win, and Smalling, who spent three years under Ferguson, said the result reminded him of the spirit instilled by his former boss.

"Yeah, it did," said the defender, who got United's first goal with a header from Antonio Valencia's cross. "There's not been many games where we've come back.

"There's not many games when we've gone 2-0 down, but you can see how close we are as a group that everyone celebrated together, and how much it means to us, because that was a huge win."

Mourinho said after the game that his half-time team talk, with United 1-0 down, had been too colourful to repeat in his postmatch interviews.

But Smalling insisted the players did not need Mourinho's harsh words to know the first half performance had not been good enough.

"I don't think there was any ranting and raving, but there was a degree where we walked in and already knew we weren't playing enough, needed to increase it," Smalling said.

"We had everything in front of us to do, and we did it.

"It shows that no matter how bad we might be playing in that first half, that we can go after teams.

"And doing it away from home -- our home record's a lot better than our away form -- that's a huge win."