Match Review: Everton 3-1 Manchester United

Football - Everton v Manchester United Barclays Premier League

Man United had the opportunity to go top of the table, ahead of Chelsea, if they could beat Everton at Goodison Park. A draw would have also been good enough, due to United’s goal difference being better than the blues. Everton beat Chelsea 2-1 in their last Premier League game but they have bettered that with a 3-1 win over Man United.

Nemanja Vidic returned to the squad for United after returning from injury but he only made the bench. Anderson apparently had a excellent game for the reserves midweek but he wasn’t named in the starting XI or on the bench.

The Man United starting XI was- Edwin Van Der Sar, Gary Neville (captain), Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Ji-Sung Park, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.

Both teams were led out by a Neville brother, Gary for United and Phil for Everton. Phil refused to look at Gary whilst the players shook each other’s hands, which just shows the passion.

The game got off to a quiet start but that often happens with games that kick-off at 12:45pm GMT. Leon Osman had the first effort of the game, he broke forward, stepped past Carrick but luckily for United, his shot trickled wide of the goal.

Fletcher had the opportunity to give United the lead, Park found Berbatov who put the ball into the box but Fletcher hit the ball over, he should have done better. With 16 minutes on the clock, United did have the lead. Sylvain Distin didn’t clear Valencia’s low cross into the area properly, it fell to Berbatov who smashed the ball past former United keeper Tim Howard.

A advantage didn’t last long, only four minutes later Everton had an equaliser. Evans failed to properly clear, the ball falls to the feet of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, he took a touch and then hammered a left-foot shot, which flew past Van Der Sar who didn’t even move. Stunning goal by Bilyaletdinov, unstoppable, but nobody seemed to move, Van Der Sar was just stood there, a mere spectator.

Rooney had been in fantastic form but it would be today against his former club when he didn’t shine. Rooney had, had a few mis-kicks but he did have a brilliant opportunity to give United the lead again. Berbatov put him through on goal, Rooney slipped the ball past ‘keeper Howard, his second touch was too strong which allowed Phil Neville to get back and put the ball behind for a corner.

The game in the first half was pretty even, a few goal scoring chances for both teams. United’s defence looked shaky again and a half time talk (rant) from Sir Alex Ferguson was very much needed. The defence wasn’t the only problem, United’s midfielded needed to stamp their authority on the game, mainly Fletcher and Carrick.

No immediate substitutions were made for the second half by either manager. I was hoping that Sir Alex had been able to wake the players up but early on, another mistake by the defence handed Everton an opportunity but luckily the free-kick outside the area was poor and never troubled Van Der Sar.

Everton started the second half the same way they finished the first, attacking United and were definitely the better team. Man United needed some creativity, which is why Sir Alex brought Gabriel Obertan on. Paul Scholes also came on at the same time, Park and Berbatov were taken off.

Nine minutes later Everton manager David Moyes made his own substitution, which would prove to be a great one. Goalscorer Bilyaletdinov was taken off, Dan Gosling came on.

Gosling had only been on the pitch for six minutes when he scored Everton’s second. Landon Donovan who is on loan from LA Galaxy sent Steven Pienaar down Everton’s left, he pulled the ball back which went past a few Man United defenders and Gosling was there to poke the ball past Van Der Sar. More bad defending by United.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s final substitution was to bring on Michael Owen for Valencia, not that it made much difference; I can’t remember Owen doing anything. David Moyes on the other hand got his second substitution spot on, Jack Rodwell was brought on for Pienaar.

Exactly on the 90 minute mark, it was game over. Mikel Arteta found the sub Rodwell, he ran at United’s defence, went past Evans and his shot went into the far corner.

The game finished 3-1 to Everton, United were really poor. The midfield didn’t dominate the game, the defence was shaky, Rooney had an off game. The worrying thing is that when Rooney has an off game, which all players have, so do United.

One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rooney had an off game many times this season, probably because he is the best in the word, but playing with average teammates!!

    From another hand, Berbatov score, and made 2 set up perfectly, but his partners fail like many times since he joint Manch. United.

    Well done Berbatov.

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