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Manchester United have the chance to go ONE POINT behind 4th-Place Chelsea by defeating Everton at Goodison Park. Now the thing is that United have never won three league-games in a row this season. They also suffered a nightmarish 4-0 loss at this ground last year. Today, they’re out for revenge. Well, they couldn’t accomplish either objective, in turn playing out an entertaining a 1-1 draw to remain on 5th place.
Everton took an early 3rd-minute lead in bizarre fashion when David De Gea’s botched clearance ricochet off an onrushing Dominic Calvert-Lewin into the net. But United gained control after that and were brought level in the 31st-minute when Bruno Fernandes’ powerful attempt from a long-way out rattled past Jordan Pickford into the net.
After that, things got heated real fast. There were seven bookings across both sides and Carlo Ancelotti was sent off after the game for arguing with the referee for ruling out last-minute Harry Maguire own-goal. It was pretty end-to-end stuff but United just weren’t ruthless enough to get the three points. They remain three points behind Chelsea with City & Spurs to play in upcoming weeks.
Here are the Manchester United Player Ratings vs Everton.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.0) –
This game probably ushered that Ole has grown as a manager in the last year. His decision to play a 4-man diamond midfield worked wonders as United dominated chunks of the game and looked the better team until the last third of the game. Set up his side to endure better defensively, especially on set-pieces.
But his decisions to play Greenwood instead of Ighalo and very late substitutions proves his inexperience nonetheless. A bit lucky to gain a point but United’s good work today proves that improvements being made.
David de Gea (5.0) –
De Gea made an error allowing Everton a goal at Old Trafford this season. Now he makes an even worse one to gift Calvert-Lewin the opener. Made a terrific save late on to redeem himself but he looked nervy throughout under the intimidating atmosphere.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.5)-
Wan-Bissaka is trying to provide depth through the right-wing but his crosses initially just weren’t good enough. Even defensively he didn’t wasn’t at his best, getting wrong-footed on occasions as Everton burgled through his side. But he did put in some clever tackles to ensure nothing disasterous happened after that.
Harry Maguire (7.0) –
Maguire’s trying to maintain composure in the initial stage. Made a crucial block to deny Walcott in the 8th. Marshalled his defence pretty well after that, winning nearly every header and making some terrific clearances to avert danger. Dealt with Everton’s set-pieces really well.
VERY LUCKY that his foolish own-goal was ruled out in added time but apart from that, he was rock-solid. Made 14(!) clearances and thwarted out whatever Everton threw at him.
Victor Lindelof (6.0) –
Looks a bit ruffled by Everton’s pace early on. Had problems defending when Everton players charged at him, making a few errors. But got sturdier as the game unravelled, with his clever positioning allowing him to make a few crucial challenges. Still looks a bit shaky at times though.
Luke Shaw (7.0)–
Shaw’s pace will be tested against Walcott today. But he’s held his ground firmly against him, being a sturdy figure in defence. Forced him to be subbed after the hour-mark. Kept things his side pretty disciplined, making impressive tackles and recoveries to help swift-breaks. Still lacking with his final-delivery though.
Fred (6.5) –
Fred comes into this game booming in confidence. Cleverly tiptoed into the box before playing a clever pass for Matic’s early attempt. Puts in an inviting cross for Greenwood in the 16th. Showcased bundles of energy in darting around like a hound, making numerous tackles, interceptions to usher United forward. Better delivery in the key areas as well.
Nemanja Matic (8.0)-
Had a personal nightmare in this ground last season. Started the game with vigilance, hitting the bar in the 6th with a sweet attempted curler. Then struck another thunderbolt in the 12th to force a strong save. Rewarded for his persistence with an assist for Bruno’s strike. Gained even more confidence after that. He was indomitable in midfield.
Made numerous ball recoveries, clearances, moved the ball forward better and refused to be bullied by the atmosphere. Turned back the years with a dominant showing and exorcised his personal demons as well.
Scott McTominay (6.5) –
His first league start since Boxing Day. Shielding his side from trouble pretty well and helping United maintain possession. Used his physicality really well to throttle United forward and worked hard to help defensively. Put in a pretty tidy performance in an intense situation.
Bruno Fernandes (7.5) –
United’s man-of-the-match for the last three games is menacing between the holes early on. His attempted through-balls haven’t hit their mark yet. But once he got an eye on goal, his thunderous long-ranger warped into goal to give him his first United goal from open-play!
He’s been at the root of all of United’s best-attacking chances. His flicks and tricks are tormenting Everton. Saw another weaker attempt saved by Pickford in the 79th. Shanked a shot at Pickford in the dying minutes but unlucky to see Ighalo unable to score from the rebound. He was a bit overzealous with his goal-attempts at times, but brought a lot of spice with his distribution. Another sizzling performance.
Mason Greenwood (5.0) –
Greenwood bailed out United against Everton in December. Puts a promising header over in the 16th. His indecisiveness and physical inferiority were evident on many occasions, wasting a few big chances.
Anthony Martial (5.5) –
Passed a late fitness test to make this trip. Had a few shots skewer well wide in the first half-hour. Worked hard through the left and his link-up play with Bruno & co was pretty feisty, but had no direct impact in testing Pickford.
Odion Ighalo (6.0) –
Had a big chance to score his first PL goal for United late on but unlucky to see his goal-bound shot saved by Pickford.
Juan Mata (5.5) –
His link-up play at times was menacing but just couldn’t find that something special to influence the result.
Brandon Williams (N/R) –
Brought on in the dying minutes and couldn’t really do anything from that.
Matic was United’s worst player the last time they visited Goodison Park. Today he was their best. Bossed the midfield, aided defensively and contributed offensively as well. Looks a player reborn in recent months.