Everton vs Manchester United Match Analysis

After the 3-0 defeat at Camp Nou in the midweek, Manchester United needed to make amends yesterday. A trip to Goodison is never an easy one but 5 losses out of 7 games was a rut that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was desperate to get out of. What transpired for the next 90 minutes was probably the worst Manchester United performance since the David Moyes era, although I'm not sure it ever got this bad even under the Scotsman.

Right from the first whistle, Everton looked like the only team which had come to play and win. They were winning every duel, intercepting passes and causing trouble to United's defense in the opening stages of the game. David De Gea thwarted Richarlison with a good save but the Brazilian got better of the Spaniard a few minutes later and gave the lead to the Toffees. A long throw from Lucas Digne was not all dealt with purpose by United players. Both Chris Smalling and Paul Pogba jumped for the ball but somehow Calvert-Lewin won the header and Richarlison scored from the knockdown with a sumptuous overhead kick. The second goal was even more embarrassing when a poor Marcus Rashford corner released the Everton attackers on the counter, which combined with schoolboy defending from Nemanja Matic, saw Gylfi Sigurdsson score from 30 yards. 

Chasing a two-goal deficit, Ole sent out a young Scott McTominay and Ashley Young to inspire a comeback. If the initial tactics and the starting line up were not damaging enough, this decision to send you the much-maligned Englishman proved to be the final nails in the coffin. Everton had a series of corners in the first half and looked very dangerous from them. But just a few minutes before the hour mark, the Toffees scored their third from a corner. De Gea punched the ball out but again, poor commitment from United's outfield players to close down Digne meant that the Frenchman rifled home the half-volley into the bottom corner.

Five years ago to almost the same day, David Moyes was beaten 2-0 by Everton and was sacked soon after. But yesterday, Ole's United endured something that even Moyes didn't suffer. Concede four against the Toffees. Once again, poor positioning and lack of commitment to put in tackles released Theo Walcott in a 1v1 with De Gea. Walcott took a heavy first touch but calmly slotted it past a helpless De Gea.

The state of Manchester United's defense is so horrible that words wouldn't do justice to it. The likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba were poor once again. It is okay to lose if the opponent has played an exceptional game on that day but the running statistics showed that Manchester United players ran 8 kilometers less than Everton players. If this is not the proof of a team who has given up and stopped caring enough for the badge, then there can't be any.

It now feels like what Jose Mourinho said about this group of players was right all along. He demanded better players and had publicly questioned the desire of the current crop of players, their desire, their heart and their commitment to play for the club. But what did he get in return? A sack from the club and hounding from a large section of United fans who claimed that he had held the squad back with his defensive tactics and toxic dressing room environment. His second place finish with 81 points, two trophies and two years of Champions League football with this squad was regarded as an unsuccessful tenure. Well, it's the same squad now and under a supposedly attack-minded manager who wants to play progressive football. Then why Manchester United have lost 6 matches in 8 games, have had 5 shots on target in 5 hours of football and no open play goal for more than 440 minutes?

Now the players can't hide behind the manager and let him take all the blame. But at the same time, Ole brought this upon himself. He is paying the price of believing in this group of incompetent footballers and smiling and saying in January that how happy he is with this squad and he can't wait for the transfer window to close. Questions are being raised that was he saying that to impress the Glazers and Ed Woodward so that he gets the job on a permanent basis? He has got the job now and also made some harsh comments in the post-match press conference last night that at least some of the players currently at the club shouldn't and won't be playing for United any longer. But then again, he had said on Friday that there won't be an overhaul this summer.

All these comments are quite contradictory and no one knows what will happen in the summer and how many "big name players" will actually sign for Manchester United as they could easily be playing in the Europa League next season. Hopefully after that result, the Glazers will HAVE to invest. But meanwhile, Manchester United fans must brace for even tougher times in upcoming weeks and none tougher the Manchester Derby on Wednesday.


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