Five things we learned as Manchester United beat Everton
On the back of two consecutive defeats, Manchester United needed both a victory and a good performance. They got both. Bruno Fernandes scored twice in the first-half to seal a comeback win for United at Everton. It’s only a third win for the Reds in the Premier League this season.
Solskjaer pulls off important result again
Under pressure, Solskjaer delivered once again, something he has a knack for doing. He spoke really well ahead of this game about not falling down like a house of cards. He told reporters that he believed in his players, his coaching staff and himself and that two defeats in a row wouldn’t change that. A win comes now and it’s vindication for Solskjaer.
It’ll only be temporary. Another couple of defeats and the pressure will ratchet up again. This was a performance that showed the players are full of belief for Solskjaer. The system was right, so was the personnel and the substitutions made a good impact. He’ll need to build on this, but it’s a temporary relief from the pressure for the Norwegian.
Bruno Fernandes leads United once again
It’s been a long time since Bruno Fernandes really grabbed a game for United and dragged them into a lead. His performances have been mixed with the occasional penalty goal but a string of poor passes and touches. This was a typically brilliant Bruno show, though.
It’s a real ride watching the Portuguese for United. He’s both a great creative influence and a scrapper. His first half was summed up by two goals, both fantastic. The header was Ronaldo-esque, finding space and driving forward before thumping it past Pickford. The second was a cross for Rashford that sneaked into the far post without a touch from the 23-year-old.
When he plays like this, Fernandes is the heart of this United team in attack and defence. His energy rubs off on his teammates.
United’s character is much-improved on Goodison humiliation
United’s 4-0 loss at Goodison Park is a much-cited result to show how far the side has come under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United trailed early against Everton on Saturday afternoon but immediately got themselves back into the game, and then in front.
The energy on show was fantastic, equal to that shown in the 5-0 drubbing of RB Leipzig and far improved on displays against Chelsea, Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir. United worked harder than Everton, and it showed.
United win despite Rashford-Martal off day
A couple of good touches and incisive dribbles were all Marcus Rashford could offer for most of Saturday’s game. Martial’s only influence was on the halfway line. In attack, his touches were poor.
Yet United still came out with two goals. It’s a positive, and a change from many previous games.
Rashford’s weakness was obvious. The England forward charged forward into space time after time and did well to get past his man. But once past, he showed a tendency to run into traffic or not look up and find the best option. Some would call it tunnel vision and it let United and Rashford down.
Cavani gets off the mark for United
El Matador came off the bench to replace Martial and he did what was asked of him. The one chance he got, in the final seconds of the game, he took. Fernandes laid it off to him and Cavani tucked it home. His bodyshaped pointed towards a far post finish and Pickford was sent by it. Instead, Cavani pulled it to the near post and got off the mark for United. It appears to be a panic signing from United, but a good one. He’ll help this season.
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