Manchester United have drawn both matches with Everton this season 1-1, coming from behind each time.
The Toffees’ goals against United this term have both been bizarre; Victor Lindelof put through his own net at Old Trafford before David de Gea handed Dominic Calvert-Lewin the opener yesterday.
But there was one element of United’s game which has clearly improved from that December meeting until now; their work on set pieces.
All at sea last time out
Duncan Ferguson was the interim manager when Everton came to Old Trafford and the former target man had clearly put an emphasis on set pieces.
Lindelof’s own goal came because David de Gea couldn’t punch clear, faced with strong challenges because United’s blockers failed to slow Everton’s big men.
Solskjaer had the likes of Fred trying to slow Calvert-Lewin down, which seemed bizarre and did not work at all.
Especially in the first half of that match, United were all at sea.
De Gea targeted
Everton had 13 corners yesterday, the vast majority of which came in the second half and they clearly tried to exploit de Gea again.
They were searching for signs of weakness in the Spaniard after his earlier mistake, repeatedly whipping in deliveries aimed at getting players on top of him.
But United’s set piece work was far stronger and it is difficult to recall a clear chance which came from Everton’s high number of corners.
That’s testament to de Gea’s mental strength, but United were clearly far more alert and physical up against Everton’s robust approach at the dead ball – which was a big factor in getting the point on the day.
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