Five things we learned from Everton v Manchester United

Manchester United’s disappointing period continued with a 1-0 defeat against struggling Everton.

Here is a look at five things we learned from the game at Goodison Park…

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Rashford misses chance to shine

Plenty was made of Marcus Rashford’s exclusion against Leicester last week in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was perhaps a bit of a surprise that he got a chance to shine here, playing from the right hand side.

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He had an early header which was expertly stopped by his international teammate Jordan Pickford and if that had gone in, it might have been a different story.

But it didn’t and Rashford was subbed off with United chasing the game, after another frustrating and disappointing afternoon.

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United dominate early but fail to make it pay

United started slowly against Leicester last time out but had the bit between their teeth from early on here, quietening the home crowd.

There were opportunities, but they were not taken as United failed to make that early superiority count.

United have done this before in matches this season, failing to get anything on the board when they have been playing well and it has cost them.

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Goal changes the course of the game

United had got control of the game to the extent where there were grumbles from the home crowd just past the midway point of the second half.

But just as it got to that point, United conceded a deflected goal to Anthony Gordon.

Harry Maguire’s poor, luckless season continued as he diverted the ball past David de Gea and the goal went Goodison wild.

From that point on, the game changed. Everton had something to defend and the home crowd cheered every positive thing their side did.

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Mata makes first Premier League appearance of the season

Rangnick reached for Juan Mata when chasing the European tie against Atletico Madrid and he threw him on for his first Premier League appearance of the season here.

Mata showed his technique and quality as the German switched his players into another new formation in pursuit of a comeback.

The Spainard’s calm and cool might have been useful at times this season but when a player is making his first league appearance in April, it is worth questioning the decision to hand him a new contract in the summer.

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United drop more points in top four race

Just like last weekend, United had the chance to put some early pressure on Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for the top four.

Just like last weekend, United failed to take it. Arsenal’s slip-up at Crystal Palace left the door slightly ajar if Rangnick could inspire some consistency which has been missing all season.

But it could not be found here as despite the domination of the ball, chances were in short supply.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.