Manchester United v Everton: Match Report

Calvert-Lewin’s outstretched leg pegs United back with the last kick of a frantic contest

Riding high after the exhibition victory against Southampton, United were seeking to push forward with another statement victory when they took on Everton at Old Trafford.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men were always going to prove a more difficult opponent than a depleted and dejected Southampton side, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pulled no punches when deciding upon his lineup.

The meeting fell on the 63rd anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, and the legacy of the fallen Busby Babes was continued in the four United academy graduates that filled out the midfield.

Marcus Rashford, perhaps the player who most embodies the United spirit both on and off the pitch, was crucial in crafting the opener on the day with a teasing cross in towards Edinson Cavani.

The veteran Uruguayan finished in trademark style to set United off on the day, nodding in at the back post. His tenacity in the box is paying dividends for United this season, though the show was about to be stolen by a familiar face.

Bruno Fernandes took a short pass from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and set himself to whip a daring cross into Robin Olsen’s area. The Swedish goalkeeper prepared himself for the ball that never arrived, as Fernandes instead simply lifted the ball high into the air and straight past Olsen.

Delightful, magnificent and Cantona-esque, the goal was one that personified everything sensational about Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese talisman is laying down his very own statement, and had United walking back down the tunnel with a swagger in their step.

Half-time: Manchester United 2 – 0 Everton

The first half had been a remarkable display of confident play, but United were soon to be punished for their arrogance.

Barely five minutes after play had resumed Everton had notched their first. Calvert-Lewin raced past Harry Maguire and caught David De Gea out with a switched effort that the Spaniard could only deflect, and Abdoulaye Doucouré was in prime position to tap in to an empty net.

The second half had got off to the worst possible start for United, but only two minutes later Everton had clawed themselves equal to their hosts. Not allowing himself to be outshone by his counterpart Fernandes, Colombian maestro James Rodriguez brought down Doucouré’s fired cross before firing home a vicious left-footed effort.

United fought back with greater intensity as they sought to make up for their mistakes, as Rashford burst through from Cavani’s pass to test Olsen from close range.

The pressure told and United broke through at long last thanks to Scott McTominay. In remarkable scoring form, the towering Scotsman glanced on Luke Shaw’s free-kick to haul United ahead with 20 minutes to go.

Holding on to the lead would prove a difficult task as Everton continued to push through Lucas Digne and Richarlison, though United endured and would have breathed a sigh of relief when De Gea prepared to take a goal kick in the final minute.

Instead, there was torture for United hearts. Axel Tuanzebe gave away a free kick on the half-way line, and Digne’s forward effort tumbled through a line of players only for Calvert-Lewin to stretch out and poke home a winner.

A sickening goal to concede. Having been in control for so much of the game, dropping two points with the final kick of the game was entirely preventable. With each careless result, United are forced to glance more nervously down at the rising teams below.

A much needed rally is needed in the league, though for now United must turn their attention to a chance for silverware – both West Ham and the FA Cup beckon.

Full time: Manchester United 3 – 3 Everton

Man of the Match: Bruno Fernandes

 

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