Manchester United salvaged three points, thanks to Anthony Martial’s beautiful goal at the beginning of the second half.
The Red Devils were clearly the better side and were deservedly ahead in the first half with Paul Pogba converting the rebound, following his poor penalty. However, the penalty decision was debatable, with Everton boss Marco Silva insisting that Martial had “dived” and Idrissa Gueye got the ball. In all fairness, this was one of the best counter-attacking footballing display from Jose Mourinho’s Man United this season and had they converted their chances the game wouldn’t have been this tight.
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was there to witness the game and surely he wasn’t disappointed with the scintillating display at the Theatre of Dreams. Man United won the match with two goals to one, with Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial getting on the score sheet on the 27th and 49th minute respectively. Everton pegged one back at the 77th minute, as Gylfi Sigurdsson made no mistake from the penalty spot.
David De Gea(7/10):
De Gea made some routine saves during the game, but he was consistent, reliable and vigilant on vital occasions, just what a goalkeeper needs to be.
Jose Mourinho’s most used player in the right-back slot Antonio Valencia has been kept in the cold by Ashley Young and rightly so as the midfielder showed brilliant adaptability and was proactive against the Toffees.
Centre-back Chris Smalling was having an okay game until the 75th minute, but his horrendous mistake gave away a penalty to Everton, from which they scored their only goal. His overall performance was poor and also lucky not to get a second yellow.
Lindelof had a decent game for the Red Devils and it was part of his job to send long balls into the final third, he did it well. The defender’s performance was exactly opposite to Smalling’s. Lindelof started the game in a slow and nervy manner but with three interceptions and two blocks, it was a good performance from the lad who seems to be growing with confidence.
Keeping a lid on Theo Walcott was necessary and Shaw did that, with Anthony Martial acquiring the wide spaces, Shaw did not need to go forward and focused on his defensive duties. However, when the full-back had his chances, he strived forward to stretch the opponents and help his team. With Martial not contributing defensively at times Shaw had to deal with two players, but he did it well and helped the team earn three valuable points.
A far too pedestrian yet an improved performance it was from the Serbian midfielder. Keeping tabs on Sigurdsson was not easy as he was outrun many a time in the beginning but with the defensive work rate of Paul Pogba and Fred, his mistakes were covered. The midfielder is having a poor run of form and was also set to be dropped. Definitely, he needs to improve in many areas of the game.
Making up for his poor spot-kick, Pogba scored from the rebound to put United ahead in the 27th minute but also agreed after the match that he needs to work on his penalty kicks. Overall it was a very good performance from the French midfielder. Pogba had the most final third passes(25), most shots(6), most shots on target(5), most shots from inside the box(4), joint most dribbles(), second most chances created(), 1 goal and one assist to his name. The world cup winner was the clear standout in the middle of the park for Manchester United.
After almost a month the Brazilian was back into the starting XI. The midfielder showed exactly why he was brought into the team through his energetic performance. With him on the field the team looked sharp in the final third, there were better transitions too. It was a positive return and hopefully, he will have a consistent run of games from now on.
Mata might have started on the right flank but the midfielder had a free pass to roam anywhere in the final third. Playing a free role, the Spaniard was looking for pockets of space to get into. Although scoring a header isn’t his strong suit but missing a free header is never acceptable. Mata opened up the play nicely, but a few extra touches here and there slowed the tempo of the game.
Shooting boots seemed to be missing for the forward as he ran down blind alleys and missed a one-on-one chance against Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Rashford did not seem to have the striker instincts and was hardly an improvement over Romelu Lukaku.
Martial kept on troubling Seamus Coleman from time to time and also scored the beautifully curved winner around Coleman and blind-sighted Pickford could nothing about it. Jose Mourinho also praised the Frenchman claiming he has learned his role in the team finally. Martial was involved in both goals, first earning the penalty and then scoring a beauty in the second half.
Mourinho hoped for a reaction from the Belgian after getting dropped for the game, but coming on with 30 minutes to go, he did nothing positive for the team. A poor finish from a brilliant pass from Pogba made his performance even worse.
Came on for the final 10 minutes of the game, Herrera shore up the midfield as well as the defence, and also had two successful tackles.
Replaced Fred for the final few seconds of the game.