Everton 1-3 Manchester United
Manchester United began their climb up the Premier League table with a well earned win over Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from Bruno Fernandes.
On the back of a home defeat to Arsenal, this was a huge game for the Red Devils and their head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. So a first half double from Fernandes after Bernard had given the Toffees the lead was exactly what the United manager needed.
The pre-match Everton vs Manchester United betting odds gave the Red Devils a slight edge at odds of 2.38, and while a one goal lead is always precarious keeper David de Gea had a quiet afternoon as the Toffees lacked a cutting edge. And when Fernandes set up Edinson Cavani to score a third deep into injury time it was no more than the visitors deserved.
Highlights of the game
Having recovered from injury James Rodriguez made a return to the Everton starting 11 and he launched a superb attack on six minutes releasing Bernard down the left, and the wing back swung a cross into the danger area which Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed just over the bar. But when the opening goal came it was route one as the recalled keeper Jordan Pickford kicked long; United defender Victor Lindelof could only flick the ball into the path of Bernard and the Brazilian drilled his shot low into David de Gea’s near corner.
But the lead lasted just five minutes and the Red Devils move was somewhat easier on the eye as Juan Mata released Luke Shaw down the left and he fired in a perfect cross for Fernandes to plant his header past Pickford and into the corner of the net.
Lucas Digne had a wonderful opportunity to restore Everton’s lead but, after an exchange with Bernard, he fired his effort against the near post with Calvert-Lewin unmarked and waiting for the ball to be squared. And the Toffees paid for that miss when the Red Devils scored a second with another lovely move and a slightly fortuitous finish. Fred and Marcus Rashford combined to set Fernandes free and the Portuguese midfielder delivered a dangerous ball into the box which sailed past everyone, Pickford included, and into the net. It was Fernandes’ fifth of the season making him the Red Devils top scorer by a distance.
Everton began the second half on the front foot and Red Devils defender Harry Maguire made a timely intervention as James prepared to apply a finish to a cross from Calvert-Lewin. Having been dropped for Everton’s match against Newcastle last week Pickford will have been hoping for an error second half, but that was too much to hope for! He dropped the ball at the feet of Maguire and his lob bounced onto the top of the bar, though VAR took a look at a possible penalty as both Pickford and Michael Keane appeared to impede to Manchester United captain.
The Toffees pressed for an equaliser, while United were dangerous on the break and Marcus Rashford should have finished the game when he was clean through on goal but he shot straight at Pickford.
In the end Everton’s final ball was not good enough and they registered just one shot on target…Bernard’s goal. And when substitute Edinson Cavani bagged his first for Manchester United, on 95 minutes, he had Fernandes to thank as he showed the hosts exactly how to put a goal on a plate.
This was a strange fixture for the SBOTOP Premier League team to predict, as the last time Everton started a league match ten places above Manchester United was way back in 1987.
But then, Manchester United have won more games against Everton (37) than any other side has won against another in the history of the Premier League.
Man of the match Bruno Fernandes scored his 100th and 101st domestic league goals in his career, and he has scored 11 goals in 17 away fixtures for the Red Devils, since his debut back in February, more than any other player in the Premier League.
The Red Devils’ seventh consecutive away league win has taken them up to 13th in the table, while the Toffees missed a chance to go top.
Everton have a trip to West London next week where they face struggling Fulham. The Cottagers earned their first win of the season last week against West Brom, but both they and the Baggies remain strong favourites for the drop.
And Manchester United are at home to West Brom, so they too will expect another three points to continue their climb up the table.
In the meantime we’ll be back with more Premier League 2020 updates, with the clash of the weekend tomorrow when champions Liverpool visit favourites Manchester City.
Now that’s not a game to miss!
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