Manchester United vs Everton 1-1

Manchester United substitute Mason Greenwood scored a 77th-minute equaliser to deny Duncan Ferguson a second successive win as Everton’s interim manager.

Everton looked set for back-to-back league victories for the first time since April when Victor Lindelof turned Leighton Baines’ first-half corner into his own goal, with VAR ruling David de Gea had not been impeded by Dominic Calvert-Lewin as they jumped at the near post.

It was fitting that 18-year-old Greenwood should come off the bench to rescue a point with a fine shot from the edge of the area, given that this game marked the 4,000th consecutive game in which United have named an academy player in their matchday squad.

Everton’s fans were delighted at the end though, singing Ferguson’s name in tribute to the Scot’s impact since replacing sacked Marco Silva.

Despite the cold and rain, Ferguson spent most of the game in nothing more than a shirt and tie, and long after the final whistle went over to acknowledge the visiting fans.

The result means United have collected 25 points from their first 17 games, one fewer than they had at the same point last season when Jose Mourinho was sacked.

What now for Everton?

Everton’s hierarchy have some serious thinking to do.

Owner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright sat side-by-side in the Old Trafford directors’ box. Kenwright chewed furiously on a piece of gum as the stresses of the game took hold.

Ferguson has stressed repeatedly he does not wish to be considered for the manager’s job full-time. Yet it is clear the Everton fans love him and the Scot’s exuberant goal celebrations demonstrate his love for the club. More importantly, their players have a sense of purpose that so often seemed to be lacking during Silva’s reign.

The notable draw was achieved without the experience of Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott, who were ruled out with calf injuries, and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was taken ill at the team hotel.

It included a brutal substitution of substitute – and big-money signing – Moise Kean, who had only been on the pitch 18 minutes when he was replaced in the closing stages, blanked by his manager as he trudged off down the touchline towards the tunnel.

With a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Leicester on Wednesday to come before the packed Christmas schedule, there must be a temptation for Moshiri and Kenwright to leave things as they are and reassess in the New Year.

“It was a fantastic performance,” said Ferguson. “We couldn’t hang on but I can’t complain and I’m delighted with a point.

“The players seem to be motivated. They are in a perilous position and understand that – they have to fight for the shirt and that’s what I’m doing. They should have been doing it all season. I’ve managed to galvanise them and push them on.”

Greenwood a United star

It has been an excellent few days for Greenwood, who rescued United on this occasion just three days after scoring twice in the Europa League against AZ Alkmaar.

Solskjaer spent a large chunk of his post-match press conference on Thursday talking about the striker. and that praise was justified as the teenager scored in a league game at Old Trafford for the first time.

Speaking after Greenwood’s performance against Everton, the United manager continued in the same vein.

“You wanted the ball to drop to Mason, because he’s so calm and composed – when he gets chances, he takes them.

“It is just so natural for him, he knows what to do. If you open or get close, he bends it round you. Too many chances are missed in general, or strikers rush the finish, but the best have that extra half second, and he does.”

Only Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck have scored at a younger age in the Premier League at Old Trafford for United. Greenwood has already scored more goals than Macheda and will hope to stay clear of the injuries that dogged Welbeck at United.

With seven goals to his name, Greenwood is now clear as United’s second top scorer behind Marcus Rashford this season.

United’s creative gap

There was plenty of talk about Solskjaer’s trip to Austria to see Red Bull Salzburg’s Erling Haaland on Friday in the build-up to the game.

Haaland is evidently of interest to United and Solskjaer’s positive relationship with the 19-year-old, who played under him at Molde, is an advantage.

Asked about his visit to Austria and the speculation over Haaland following the draw with Everton, Solskjaer would only say: “He knows what he wants to do and what he’s going to do.”

But it is a lack of creativity in midfield that really needs addressing.

United have managed to amass 14 points from six games against the remainder of England’s ‘big six’, plus current title challengers Leicester, but have registered only 11 from their other 12 matches against teams less likely to attack them and leave spaces for the counter.

Paul Pogba is Solskjaer’s most creative player but the Frenchman has featured just twice since August and not at all since the draw against Arsenal on 30 September.

He is due to start training again this week after ankle surgery amid continuing speculation about a move away from Old Trafford next summer.

Man of the match – Tom Davies (Everton)

Tom Davies
Everton’s poor Old Trafford record won’t go away – the stats
  • Manchester United have lost just one of their last 27 home league games against Everton (W20 D6 L1).
  • Everton have won only one of their last 12 away Premier League games (D4 L7), taking just seven points from a possible 36.
  • Manchester United are without a keep clean sheet in their last 12 league matches – their worst run since a 12-game stretch between April and August 1971.
  • Everton have gone ahead in four away Premier League games this season but won just one of those, away at Southampton (W1 D1 L2).
  • Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has now gone 12 consecutive Premier League matches without keeping a clean sheet – the longest run of his career.
  • Only Marcus Rashford (13) has more goals in all competitions for Man Utd this season than 18-year-old Mason Greenwood (7).
  • Greenwood is the youngest scorer (18y 75d) at Old Trafford for Manchester United in the Premier League since Federico Macheda in April 2009 against Aston Villa (17y 226d).

Man Utd

  • de Gea
  • 29 Wan-Bissaka
  • Lindelöf Booked at 66mins
  • Maguire
  • 23 Shaw
  • 39 McTominay
  • 17F red
  • 21 James Substituted forMataat 86′minutes
  • 14 Lingard Substituted forGreenwoodat 65′minutes
  • 10 Rashford
  • Martial

Substitutes

  • Mata
  • 15 Pereira
  • 18 Young
  • 22 Romero
  • 26 Greenwood
  • 38 Tuanzebe
  • 53 Williams

Everton

  • Pickford
  • 2 3Coleman
  • Keane
  • 13 Mina
  • 12 DigneSubstituted forBainesat 25′minutes
  • 17I wobi
  • 26 DaviesBooked at 5mins
  • Holgate
  • 20 Bernard Substituted for Kean at 70′minutes Substituted for Niasseat 89′minutes
  • Richarlison Booked at 57mins
  • Calvert-Lewin

Substitutes

  • Baines
  • 14 Tosun
  • 22 Stekelenburg
  • 27 Kean
  • 29 Niasse
  • 30 Martina
  • 42 Gordon
Referee:Michael Oliver
Attendance73,328

 

 

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