Adam Brown from Spain’s Marbella who operates ” football with Brownie” on youtube gives his views on the game.
Everton 1 Manchester United 1
Ever since I can remember, games between these two teams rarely fail to let the watching public down if you compare them to other games which Sky Sports like to promote. One of my first real football memories was the 1985 FA Cup final between these two teams and you can blame the sending off of Kevin Moran and the extra time winner by Norman Whiteside for why I’m writing this today because that game locked me into the football supporting world ever since.
Going into today’s game the reality is that both teams are going through a transition an in Everton’s case their transition has lasted most of my adult years and I’m 41! United on the other hand won their last trophy under Mourniho and ever since the special one was paid off by the United hierarchy things have been going from bad to worse for the men in red.
Everton made five changes to the starting XI that lost 3-2 to Arsenal. The right side of defence seen two alterations, as Keane and Coleman replaced Minna and Sidibe, and central midfielder Schneiderlin’s injury forced Davies into action, while a return to fitness for Gomes seen him play instead of Delph. The final change being on the wing as Iwobi started on the bench for Walcott. As for United their manager just made one change from their 3-0 win over Watford last weekend, as a knock on Daniel James against Club Brugge seen him out of the squad allowing McTominay to come into the midfield.
From the off the signs that it was going to be an ‘interesting’ game were there for all to see as within the first couple of minutes Lindelof went in for a crunching tackle on Richarlison which left the Everton striker down on the pitch. It was an early concern for their coach Ancelotti but the Brazilian got back on his feet promisingly.
Then just a minute later the Goodison faithful went into pandemonium as the home team went a goal up in bizarre circumstances. Maguire passed a free-kick outside his own penalty area back to goalkeeper De Gea, who dithered too long on the ball before making a pass. Calvert-Lewin come into the Manchester United penalty area to close him down, he blocked the pass and put it into the empty net.
Within a couple of minutes later the young Everton striker almost had his second as a simple pass over the top for Calvert-Lewin got the striker free inside the penalty area down the left. His curling effort to the far post was saved magnificently by De Gea who had to work hard to redeem himself from his previous clanger which led to the goal.
Then it was United’s turn to attack and in the 7th minute Matic hit the crossbar as his curling one-timed hit from the edge of the penalty area by the Serb beat the hand of Pickford, but not the woodwork as it cannoned off the frame of the goal and bounced to safety. A few minutes later it was Matic who tried his luck again from a distance after Wen-Bissaka got the better of Baines, but Pickford stooped down and parried it before Holgate managed to smuggle it away.
After a frantic start Manchester United were finally enjoying a steady spell of possession but as yet not benefited the visitors. That was until the 31st minute as new singing Bruno Fernandes brought the Red Devils level. Early substitute Sidibe wasn’t able to link up with Walcott in midfield, as Matic came across and won the ball, playing it immediately forward for Fernandes. After taking a touch to set himself, he lashed a swerving shot from outside of the area which beat Pickford. Since his debut for the club, Fernandes has had more shots (10), provided more assists (two) and created more chances (seven) than any other Manchester United player in the Premier League.
Shortly after the equaliser referee Chris Kavanagh’s started to have his work cut out as the United players stargeted to target Richarlison again as the Everton striker went down due to Fred studs catching him on the knee. A few minutes afterwards Calvert-Lewin did a sliding tackle on Shaw which prompted a bit of scrum which led to both players being shown a yellow card for their parts in the melee. With four minutes remaining of the first half a further two players (Davies and Maguire) went into the referee’s book as the game was boiling up nicely for the neutrals watching.
After a slow start to the second half the home side was inches away from re-taking the lead as in the 58th minute Sigurdsson stepped up to clip a free-kick to the near post, sending the chance crashing off the woodwork into the path of Richarlison, who could only push it into the arms of the waiting De Gea.
The for the majority of the second half it was end to end stuff but in both final thirds there was just end product. Therefore step up referee Chris Kavanagh to add some into into the game. In the 79th minute Sidibe strained to get on the end of a pass before it went out for a Manchester United goal-kick, but he crashed into the advertising hoarding in his failed attempt. The substitute right-back looked to have sustained a serious injury as Everton continued with 10 men. After medical assistance Sidibe was furious having then been booked for re-entering the match and getting involved in the play near the Manchester United goal. The referee seemed to tell him that he was too eager as he did not wait for the approval of the match official before coming back on.
Then as the game was going into injury time Pickford made a great save. Fernandes didn’t manage to get a clean hit as he stuck the ball towards goal from just outside the six-yard box, but the connection still forced a wonderful save from the goalkeeper. The loose ball fell for Ighalo, but the striker was denied at the last possible second by the leg of the England and Everton number one.
The last moment of the game proved to be the most controversial. Everton thought they had scored a winner but it was ruled offside. Calvert-Lewin stuck towards De Geas goal on the half-turn, and it took a touch off Maguire on the way through – leaving the goalkeeper flat footed as it rolled past him. Rge match official after conferring with VAR demmed that Richarlison – who was lying down in front of Manchester United’s goalkeeper in an offside position – interfered with play despite nnot touching the ball!
It really was another absolutely enthralling 90 minuutes between these two footballing giants but both teams shared the spoils despite some late goalkeeping heroics and more VAR controversy. The hotly contested matched ended with Ancelotti receiving a red card but the result means his side stay 11th and Manchester United remain 5th.