Manchester United are looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League against an Everton side they had put 4 goals past in a pre-season game in August. They were unable to do so, playing out a 1-1 draw and slipping up on the opportunity to go to the top of the table.
After dominating more than 60% of the possession all through the first half, the Red Devils took the lead in the 43rd minute when Anthony Martial finished off a slick move to make it 1-0.
However, Everton came back strongly in the second half and equalized in the 65th minute when Andros Townsend superbly finished off a rapid counter-attack.
United tried & tried but couldn’t get a late winner for the second game in a row, dropping points once again. That’s 7 points dropped from the first 21 available in the PL. That’s not enough good with this squad. Will hope lady luck favours them by positive results elsewhere.
Manchester United player ratings vs Everton
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4.5)–
Solskjaer took a huge risk benching Ronaldo & Pogba in this one, instead playing Martial and Cavani. Can’t really say that backfired as Martial scored the only goal of the game. But Solskjaer’s in-game management in the second half was poor. Couldn’t motivate his side to push for a second goal & their defending on that Everton goal was really poor.
His substitutes didn’t really make an impact & not bringing on Lingard – who has 2 goal contributions as a sub in last 2 games – made no sense whatsoever. A lot of work to do for OGS to get United playing at a much higher level, because the current state is just not good enough. Needs to have United come back stronger for the post-International break games or risk seeing his side fall far behind the leading pack.
David de Gea (6.0) –
The in-form De Gea is tested with a vicious shot in the 32nd, but denies Gray with a brilliant reflex save to keep it 0-0. Left standing on his ground for Townsend’s shot. Not really tested much after that, but fortunate for a late Mina goal to be ruled out by VAR.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.5) –
Back after serving a suspension in Europe, Wan-Bissaka starts the game well – setting up a big chance for Martial which he missed. Makes a great block to deny Doucoure a shot on goal in the 36th. Outwitted by Gray leading up to the equalizer.
AWB tried his best to get into the attacking areas all game long, but his final product – apart from that early chance – was disappointing again.
Raphael Varane (6.0) –
Varane had a few slightly iffy moments defending against Everton’s pace attacks in the first half, but also came up clutch with some crucial clearances to frustrate them. His distribution was pretty good, but seemed to be a bit confused at times without Maguire beside him.
Victor Lindelof (6.5) –
Lindelof starts his first PL game alongside Varane and makes an impressive block to deny a potential goal-scoring chance in the 25th. Defensively more composed & efficient than Varane on the day, cutting out some of Everton’s attacks with a few impressive last-ditch challenges.
Luke Shaw (5.0) –
Shaw passes a late fitness test to start this one. Defensively much better than in last few games, keeping the dangerous Townsend at bay. Slightly at fault for Townsend’s goal, as he allowed the pass from Doucoure to go past him too easily. Didn’t look sharp or properly match-fit today, lacking that extra thrust he normally has.
Scott McTominay (6.0) –
McTominay’s playing his 3rd game in 7 days, but looks fired up for this one. Clattered the Everton midfielders with crunching challenges & using his physicality to neutralize a lot of their moves. Worked hard to often get into the box, but just didn’t have that clinical touch to get among the goals.
Fred (5.5) –
Fred looks very lively in the middle and helping nullify Everton’s counter-attacking threat. Swings in a great cross to create Cavani’s chance early on. After doing well all game long in cutting out Everton’s moves with timely challenges, he horribly lost a physical duel in the counter-attack allowing Everton to equalize. Subbed soon after that.
Bruno Fernandes (7.5)–
Captain Fernandes looks sharp from the get-go, cleverly moving on the pitch in the final third. Showcased incredible close control to latch onto Greenwood’s pass and set up Martial’s goal with a nice pass. Fernandes was at the heart of all prominent attacks for United, creating 3 goal-scoring chances. Unable to produce that something special to get them the winner.
Mason Greenwood (6.0) –
No longer a teenage sensation after recently turning 20, but Greenwood looks intent on imposing his presence in the game. Makes a superb pass into the eight-yard box in the 8th, but nobody can convert it. Takes an ambitious shot on goal in the 26th, which is saved easily.
Greenwood made a brilliant pass to Bruno leading up to Martial’s goal, allowing him to set it up. Takes a powerful attempt at goal in the 48th, but it went straight to the keeper. His game fell flat towards the end as the pressure grew & he was really isolated on the byline by Everton. A tale of two halves for him.
Anthony Martial (7.5) –
Martial gets a surprise start and has to do something big today to get back in the supporters’ good books. Wastes a big chance in the 6th, hitting a simple free header wide. But doesn’t make a mistake when Bruno lays a sweet pass in his path inside the box – blasting the ball past Pickford to get his first PL goal of the season.
Gained confidence off that and tried curling one in from outside the box before half-time, but that one was saved. Seemed to be struggling physically in the second half, which is why subbed out before the hour-mark. Pretty solid showing nonetheless, which should get him more minutes going forward.
Edinson Cavani (5.5) –
El Matador replaces Ronaldo in his first start of the season. Very smartly tucked behind a defender to get a vicious header on goal in the 21st, but his attempt was superbly denied by Pickford. Worked really hard up-front, but a few false touches & passes showed signs of rustiness. Replaced by Ronaldo in the second half.
Jadon Sancho (5.5) –
Sancho brought a lot of pace to United’s attack after coming on, going past defenders with ease and lighting up his wing. But his final product still lacks venom, as he hit a weak shot from a promising area straight to the keeper in the 90th.
Cristiano Ronaldo (6.0) –
Ronaldo has 35 minutes to get a goal today. Can he do it? Managed to get behind the defence in the 74th, but his shot from an awkward angle went wide. Left frustrated by the lack of delivery towards the end.
Paul Pogba (N/R) –
Tried to go for the top corner in the 81st, but his curler from outside the area went wide. Then hits a difficult header wide two minutes later.
MAN OF THE MATCH
No United player deserves this today. Have to give it to Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure. He was defensively solid, carried the ball forward really well and cleverly assisted the equalizer.