MATCH REPORT : MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 EVERTON

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MATCH REPORT : MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 EVERTON

Everton arrived at Old Trafford boosted by last weekend’s victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park and trying to stop Manchester United recording three successive victories. Duncan Ferguson was again in charge, as Everton’s search for a new manager following the dismissal of Marco Silva continues.

Everton’s injury crisis continues to haunt them and for this game they lost Theo Walcott, Morgan Schneiderlin, Djibril Sidibé and Gylfi Sigurdsson to make their task even more difficult. Ferguson had to play Mason Holgate in midfield due to the fact that Everton have lost all of their central midfielders this season following long term injuries to Jean-Phillip Gbamin and Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph has missed a number of games and now Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin unavailable too.

United’s previous wins over City and Spurs were both built on bright starts and they almost had the perfect start here. Straight from the kick-off Marcus Rashford flicked the ball on, Anthony Martial played in Fred inside the Blues penalty area, the ball broke for Jesse Lingard, who should really have scored from seven yards. The clock registered 15 seconds.

Everton responded well and a Mason Holgate cross-shot had to be tipped over by David de Gea to prevent Everton taking the lead. Everton went close from two corners that were defended shakily by United showing a weakness but that would haunt United later in the half.

United continued to attack and could possible have scored twice before going behind. First Victor Lindelöf’s diagonal pass was trapped expertly by Rashford but his left-foot shot was wild. Then Daniel James cut in from the right but saw his effort flashing well wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal.

Everton’s injury crisis worsened when Lucas Digne had to leave the pitch with a groin problem on 25 minutes and was replaced by, one time Manchester United target, Leighton Baines.

United’s best effort of the half came from a Marcus Rashford dipping 25-yard free-kick which had Pickford scrambling to make the save but from that point Everton took charge.

Everton’s goal came as they were on top, the Blues strung several passes together and this eventually led to an Everton corner. Baines delivered the ball from the right, De Gea, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mina in attendance, flapped at the cross and the loose ball rebounded limply off Lindelöf and into the United net.

Manchester United began the second half with more urgency that saw a Fred drive blazed over. So, too, did Rashford when hoping to beat Pickford from 20 yards.

Everton continued to limit Manchester United’s influence and the best they could really muster saw a Luke Shaw drive that Pickford saved diving to his left.

Lingard was replaced soon after by Greenwood in what became a 4-2-4 formation when United attacked. Greenwood was lively and won a corner but Fred – again – made a hash of it as the team continued to lack incisiveness in front of goal.

However, Greenwood’s impact was growing and therefore it was no surprise when it was the United youngster who drew them level in this one. His calm touch and finish from outside the area beat Pickford superbly into the corner of the Everton net.

United were unable to build on their equaliser and allowed Everton to take control of the game again as they searched for a late winner. Alex Iwobi almost got the Blues the goal they were chasing and his fine left footed strike needed a brilliant stop from David de Gea to earn United a point late on.

A draw was a fair result in the end and it pleased caretaker boss Ferguson, who even brushed off replacing the substitute Moise Kean after only 19 minutes. The scot claimed it was a time-wasting move at the end to break the game up, the young Italian striker didn’t see it like that as he went straight down the tunnel. Ferguson will care not, he has now taken 4 points from Chelsea and Manchester United with a depleted team, Everton entertain Arsenal at Goodison Park next Saturday and you would not bet against them getting a positive result there either under the Giant Scot.

How they lined up : 

Barry Cass