Manchester United were in a desperate need for a win to start climbing up the Premier League table as they face a wounded Everton side looking to get back to winning ways themselves. The Red Devils picked up a compelling 3-1 win to end their winless streak and provide some relief to their under-pressure manager. Even after starting the game well, United saw themselves fall behind in the 19th minute when Bernard slotted a clever shot through Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s legs to give the hosts a fortunate lead.
But the Red Devils bit back quickly, with Bruno Fernandes ending his goal-drought with a smashing header in the 24th minute to make it 1-1. United continued their onslaught after that and took the lead in the 32nd-minute after Fernandes’ attempted cross gliding into the back of the net.
After spending the entire second-half sustaining the attacking onslaught from Everton, United sealed the deal very late when Edinson Cavani scored his first goal for the club by finishing off a stellar counter-attack in the last seconds of the game. Another solid win on the road for the Red Devils & this will at least allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sleep in peace over the International break.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Everton
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.5) –
With his job potentially on the line, Solskjaer came out fighting today. Made some necessary changes to bench underperforming players like Pogba & Greenwood and set up his side superbly to counter Everton’s style. His decision to go with less creative stars like Fred & McTominay worked perfectly as they nullified Everton’s attacking flow and kept things comfortable for United.
Giving Bruno & Rashford all the freedom to causing mayhem and his ability to extract that kind of a performance from Fernandes after his recent disappointments must be appreciated. His subs worked perfectly and Cavani also scored, capping off a perfect day for OGS & co. Seeing how he inspired that kind of an impressive performance from the boys, he isn’t going anywhere soon. Now just needs consistency in winning games after the break.
David de Gea (6.0) –
De Gea had a nightmare at Goodison Park last season but seems much more reliable this time around. Maybe he could’ve made a better attempt in stretching himself to save Bernard’s goal. Didn’t really have anything to do after that, which he’s probably relieved about.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.0)-
Wan-Bissaka looked uncomfortable dealing with the tricky Bernard right from the get-go. His poor decision-making cost him for Bernard’s goal, as AWB’s hesitation of not making a tackle and instead letting him take the shot saw the attempt nutmeg him en route to inside the goal.
Looked all over the place dealing with Bernard & Lucas Digne on his flank. He did recover in the second-half and make some clutch challenges, but still looked uncharacteristically nervous today.
Harry Maguire (7.5) –
Maguire has a big role to keep an eye on Calvert-Lewin today and missed a key duel in the 6th, allowing the Everton striker’s header to blaze just over the goal. Should’ve done better to close down Bernard and stopped him from getting an easy shot into the goal. Apart from that, he looks pretty comfortable at the back and made a potential goalscoring block to deny Rodriguez in the 52nd.
Bit lucky not to get booked for a scissors kick on Digne in the box during the hour-mark, but thankfully the offside flag went up to save him. But he turned into an absolute rock after that, thwarting whatever Everton threw in the box and making some emphatic clearances. Played a role in the late 3rd goal, making a key interception to send Fernandes away to assist Cavani’s goal. Another impressive showing from Maguire at Goodison Park.
Victor Lindelof (6.5) –
Lindelof starts the game after passing a late fitness test. But the Swede’s aerial weakness cost him as he got outjumped by Calvert-Lewin leading to Bernard’s strike. After that, however, the Iceman put in a solid shift. Made some key challenges in the second-half to deny Everton a sniff at an equalizer and helped get the job done eventually.
Luke Shaw (7.5) –
Shaw has started the game brightly and looks hungry to create more chances through the left. After some impressive forward runs early on, his persistence paid off as the left-back’s cross perfectly found Bruno for his equalizer. Makes an excellent block right at the start of the second-half to deny Abdoulaye Doucoure a goal-scoring opportunity.
He troubled Everton’s defenders with his surging forward runs and remained solid defensively, keeping James extremely quiet. But seemed to have picked up another injury after the hour-mark, forcing a frustrating substitution after a superb performance.
Fred (7.5) –
Playing ahead of Pogba again, Fred must be more creative with his passing today. He did create a good one in the 14th, playing a clever ball to create Martial’s big chance in front of an open goal. Then played another gorgeous through-ball to send Rashford through on goal in the 72nd.
Fred relished the tough battle in midfield, dominating Everton’s midfielder and not allowing them any space down the middle. Made some snappy tackles & interceptions to steal possession and showcased plenty of energy to help United fight their way to a win.
Scott McTominay (7.0) –
McTominay is really helping keep a tight shape in midfield and nullifying Everton’s attempts to move the ball smoothly. Distributing the ball well without making mistakes and not shying away from crunching tackles to recover possession.
Scott’s impressive positional sense helped him make some great possession recoveries and he also helped United resist Everton’s attacking threat by acting as a 3rd centre-back at times. Put a stop to so many counter-attacking opportunities for Everton and was just about everywhere in midfield.
Bruno Fernandes (9.5) –
After his recent disappointing performances, Bruno must make a statement with a big performance today. Looks more disciplined with his passing, which are finding their target today. Shows signs of a leader by scraping United’s equalizer, scoring a wonderful header from Shaw’s header after making a clever run into the box. After that, he tried to fool Pickford with an ambitious free-kick from almost 40 yards out, but the goalkeeper saved it.
But he does end up embarrassing Pickford, with his attempted cross for Rashford somehow managing to sneak into the back of the net. Bruno did not seem unnerved against an awfully aggressive Everton midfield and thrived under the game’s intensity. He led from the front, playing a role in almost every prominent chance and capped off a terrific performance by showing class in teeing up Cavani’s goal rather than going for his hattrick.
Juan Mata (5.5) –
Mata gets another surprise start but is working much harder today to get things done. Showcased impressive awareness to surge forward in an impressive counter-attack in the 25th, but his final delivery from the left-wing wasted a big scoring chance. Then got a solid chance to score from just outside the box in the 75th, but his poor attempt was blocked off. Despite putting in a tenacious shift, Mata lacked his usual spark in the final third again.
Marcus Rashford (7.0) –
Rashford looks much more menacing with his movement tonight and almost caught Pickford off guard in the 16th when his deflected shot barely went over his net. Even though he couldn’t claim the second goal, Rashford’s attempted header from Bruno’s cross ended up diverting Pickford’s attention and helping it go inside the goal.
Had a golden chance to put the game to bed in the 72nd when he moved past the Everton defenders into a 1v1 situation, but saw his shot saved well. Somewhat redeemed himself by laying a chance on the plate for Mata minutes later, only to see him miss. Rashford created 5 goal-scoring chances today, but his only assist came with the most obvious of passes for Fernandes’ second!
Anthony Martial (4.5) –
Martial’s back after missing the last 3 Premier League games and botched a golden chance to open the scoring in the 14th after being sent 1v1 with Pickford, but his ragged left-footed shot went terribly wide of the mark. Struggled to get the basics right today, misplacing easy passes and struggling to link-up with Rashford & co. Lacked any hunger and his output was extremely frustrating all game long.
Axel Tuanzebe (6.5) –
Tuanzebe was made to play outside his comfort zone after coming on as a left-back, but he did not crumble under pressure. Looked very solid on his side, making some clutch challenges and also carrying the ball forward in confident fashion.
Paul Pogba (N/R) –
Fortunately, Pogba made no mistakes after coming on and helped United keep a hold of possession pretty well and get the job done in the end.
Edinson Cavani (6.5) –
Cavani capitalized on tired Everton defenders to score his first for the club with an easy finishing from close range to seal the win for United.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fernandes was at his venomous best and traumatized Everton with his clever work in the final third, ending up with 2 goals & an assist. A proper captain-esque performance which definitely deserves the MOTM award.