Manchester United fail to capitalise on a half-time lead and concede again at home to make it nine games without clean sheet at Old Trafford.
How Did Manchester United Set Up?
The double-pivot is back! This game was scored as a 3-3 draw last season after Everton fought back to take a share of the points. The 2 teams were level on points going into the game with the winner likely to sit atop the table until after the international break. The toffee’s have not won at Old Trafford since December 2013, the season we welcomed David Moyes for his short-lived spell as the United manager.
3 words to describe the game = DISAPPOINTING, LACKLUSTRE, BLAND.
David De Gea (GK), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB), Victor Lindelof (CB), Raphael Varane (CB), Luke Shaw (LB), Fred (CM), Scott McTominay (CM), Bruno Fernandes (AM), Mason Greenwood (RW), Anthony Martial (LW), Edison Cavani (ST)
Southampton vs Manchester United: How It Went Down
The game starts very openly and arguably Everton start the better at Old Trafford. United do have a good chance early on with a Wan Bissaka dummy slash body feint, pushing the ball out of his feet to the outside and floating a deep hanging cross to martial at the back post but the Frenchman times the jump all wrong and hits his peak too early he headers the ball on his descent and it’s pointed wide.
A noticeable part of the play were the two centre backs in red pushing wide to header the ball. Lindelof failing to win a header on the right-hand side which allowed the loose ball to be played through into the path of Rondon, but just as he tee’s up the boot and hit’s a piledriver at De Gea, Varane has closed the door and blocks the ball wide.Embed from Getty Images
A few moments later Townsend goes over very easily after a very light push from Shaw. This leads to a cross at the front post…. A clipped header toward back post from Michael Keane and the ex-United academy product almost scores at his old home to take Everton into the lead.
Cavani has a free header after some decent crossing from FRED – the ball is perfect for Edi and after pinpointing the header, pickford makes a good save
Another chance cleared by Varane after Lindelöf is burnt for pace on the right again… where was Wan Bissaka? both Shaw and the overlooked English Right Back were so high when United lose the ball they only have 2 defenders. This is part of the set-up and not the 2 full-backs pushing forward because they’re bored.
After the ball is played toward right back again, Demari Gray skips through the middle after taking the piss out of Mctominay and Fred, a long shot low to David De Gea’s right see’s him make another fine save on his 450th appearance – good to see him back in some good form.
GOAL! United 1-0 Everton.Embed from Getty Images
Martials goal is cutting in off the left after the ball is laid up by Bruno – it all stemmed from very positive play from Mason Greenwood after he zipped in a ball to Bruno who spins with a delicate touch and lays the ball with a gentle sushi roll! A typical martial goal, leaning back, aiming for the back post whilst cutting in off the wing.
The 1st half ends with the Red Devils leading 1-0.
GOAL! United 1-1 Everton.
Everton’s equalizer comes from OUR corner! it’s cleared well by the blues and picked up by Damari Gray who brushes off 2 failed attempts at winning the ball from FRED! (Did this not happen a few weeks ago) plays it into Doucoure who skips passed Shaw and it’s played in through Andros Townsend who was in acres of space and slots the ball home – terrible play from United!
CHANGES ARE MADE – Ronaldo and Sancho on! – They momentarily link well for a Cristiano chance but its blasted across the goalEmbed from Getty Images
HUUUUUUGEEE chance goes missing for Everton – they have a corner which is cleared by Varane’s strong header it’s picked up midway into the united half by Ben Godfrey, played out onto the RW to Davis who has more space than the MOON – all the united players are already sprinting up the field hoping to break away…. but bizarrely Tom Davis decides to play a pass across the 6yrd box?!?!? surely, he shoots…. the ball is touched in from Yeri Mina but is rightfully called offside after a minute on the telephone to Mr VAR. United have escaped an embarrassment here.
Another opportunity at the Stretford end…. after some nip and tuck on the edge of the box, the ball is played to Ronaldo… he realises there is a better opportunity behind him and smartly plays a back heel to Sancho who has time…. but a very faint shot is straight at Pickford…. could have won the game there but the shot had less power than a wind-up torch! That really is the shot of a young man lacking confidence… an in form and buoyant Jadon buries that home!
United looked like a Lion with blunt teeth, you know there’s an animal there waiting to roar but right now, it’s licking its paw!
Final Score: 1-1
Goals: Martial, Townsend
Assists: Fernandes, Doucoure (x1)
Things to note
Tactically, Ole and his side-line staff clearly are not as astute as the experienced Spaniard Benítez!
Damari Gray in the hole and Abdoulay Doucoure’s direct running brushed the McFred pivot aside with ease, for all the praise they have recently had bestowed upon them, they did very little to reaffirm their managers faith.
Shaw and Wan Bissaka were so far forward when Everton broke the play down, a simple pass out wide and up the field was enough to ensure panic…. do we need to start holding them back more now?!
Man of the Match – Raphael Varane.
United didn’t deserve a man of the match but if there was 1 player who saved us on more than 1 occasion I’d have given it to Varane – not a vintage display but he did the dirty work when he needed to.
With all the transfer business done in the summer and the excitement and buzz surrounding the club, it’s been short lived! There is plenty to still look and wonder, could this be the year we properly return but right now it’s not looking that way. It doesn’t appear like Ole and his staff know their best team, nor the bet way to play and with all the investment and big names brought in this year losing to Young Boys and dropping out of the league cup at the first hurdle is a lot to swallow.
Let’s review this piece at the end of the year and see how well it ages.