Manchester United blown away by Everton at Goodison Park
Everton secured a sensational 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Goodison Park, beating them for the third successive season, in a result which could potentially put a huge dent in the Red Devils’ quest to secure a top four Premier League finish, and give Liverpool a glimmer of hope.
It was the visitor who started the brightest though, attacking from the off, and perhaps trying to overly force the issue, with Everton content to sit back and soak up the pressure.
The hosts’ tactics paid off. On five minutes, the Toffees swept away on a counter attack, with finishing in a fine James McCarthy solo effort to go past Paddy McNair in the area and slot past David de Gea.
United rallied immediately, though Everton limited their efforts to half chances, with Daley Blind and former Everton man Wayne Rooney failing to make the most of opportunities.
Their brief 10 minute spell of dominance soon ended when a Leighton Baines corner was met powerfully by centre back John Stones as he headed his defensive colleague’s delivery past a flailing De Gea.
Following the interval, in which Marouane Fellaini was taken off for Radamel Falcao, United huffed and puffed, with the first chance of the half falling to Rooney in the six yard box, however his effort could not beat Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
Proceedings slowly developed into a game of tit-for-tat with United taking chances, then Everton replying at the other end, with Aaron Lennon causing problems from the right flank on the counter-attack, highlighted by Luke Shaw bringing him down as the left back struggled to catch up.
However, with United looking increasingly lacklustre, it was Kevin Mirallas who broke on the 75th minute, dispatching superbly from the left of the area to effectively decide the game. With goading chants of “Rooney what’s the score” issuing from home supporters, Everton pressed again to take advantage of their opponents’ obvious frustration, and it was only superb acrobatics from De Gea which denied a second Mirallas goal.
As the referee brought the game to a close, it signalled United’s second consecutive defeat, and heaviest loss against Everton in 20 years.