Five things we learned as Manchester United draw 1-1 with Everton
Manchester United came from a goal down to draw with Everton 1-1 at Old Trafford thanks to Mason Greenwood.
The visitors took the lead through a Victor Lindelöf own goal after David de Gea failed to make contact with an Everton corner.
Greenwood scored the equaliser in the 77th minutes to set up a frantic finish, but United couldn’t find a winner.
Here is a look a five things we learned from the game…
4,000 not out
The clash against the Toffees was United’s 4,000th consecutive game that they have included an academy product in their senior matchday squad since 1937.
Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard who was celebrating his 27th birthday started with Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams, Andreas Pereira and Mason Greenwood on the bench.
Breeding homegrown players into the first team is part of our DNA and it is a record that will continue to blossom under the stewardship of Solskjaer.
The record is testament to the heritage of this special football club and the youngsters that are featuring on a regular basis will form a key part of the Norwegian’s rebuild.
Everton different proposition
After a dream start against Chelsea, Duncan Ferguson had to reshuffle his pack for the trip to the Theatre of Dreams due to injuries and sickness.
The caretaker manager had to make four changes to his starting line-up and lost Lucas Digne due to injury in the 24th minute.
But unlike Marco Silva’s Everton, Ferguson’s team were resilient, aggressive and united.
Ferguson set his team up to frustrate United and knew where our deficiencies lied with our inability to break teams down.
Farhad Moshiri may want to lure Carlo Ancelotti to Goodison Park, but Ferguson has certainly put his case forward to possibly get the post until the end of the season.
De Gea shows old vulnerabilities
When David de Gea arrived in Manchester 9 years ago, he had the physical stature of a young boy who desperately needed to fill out.
De Gea was given a rude awakening to life in English football and teams quickly realised how timid and vulnerable the Spaniard was when it came to him commanding the penalty area.
There is no denying the 29-year-old’s shot stopping ability, he is arguably the best in the world and at his unbeatable best when he is confident and focused.
But United’s number one has to be disappointed with his role in Everton’s goal. There may have been an elbow to his face by Calvert-Lewin, but it was weak goalkeeping.
Lindelöf was expecting his keeper to take charge and clear his lines, but De Gea flapped at the corner and the ball came off the Swede and rolled into the back of his own net.
De Gea will know by his own high standards that it was a glaring error regardless of the presence of Calvert-Lewin.
Hopefully it was only a blip and not a case of old bad habits returning.
United needed a spark to get them back into the match and to lift the crowd, that is exactly what Greenwood gave.
Solskjaer’s front three were having an off day and we needed some individual inspiration.
The Norwegian brought Greenwood on for Lingard in the 65th, it was only 12 minutes later when the 18-year-old produced the goods and brought the hosts level.
He may only be in the early stages of his career, but United’s talented youngster is already making it his trademark scoring goals at the goalkeeper’s near post.
Greenwood is knocking on the door for Premier League starts and after another frustrating afternoon for Martial, he may get chances over the festive period.
After Chelsea surprisingly lost to Bournemouth, United had the chance to cut the gap to 4th place with a win to 2 points.
The wins against Tottenham and Manchester City showed the club’s big match prowess, but we yet again stumbled against a side we expected to beat.
Everton played their hearts out for Ferguson, but the usual creativity problems came to fruition once again, which is a concern with further matches to come against sides in the bottom half.
Solskjaer will be happy that we found a way to rescue a point, but unlike the Red Devils, Jose Mourinho’s Spurs found a way to snatch a late winner at Wolves to go above United.
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