Everton 0 Manchester United 3

Sunday 26 November 2023 18:34

Manchester United defied a hostile atmosphere to achieve our most comfortable win of the campaign so far, beating Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park in a dynamic Premier League encounter.

Much had been made of the home fans' anger at their club's 10-point deduction, and how it could give their team an edge over Erik ten Hag's side - not least with his own punishment forcing the Reds manager to sit in the stands instead of the dugout. 

But Alejandro Garnacho's jaw-dropping goal, executed with a Wayne Rooney-esque overhead kick, stunned the crowd in only the third minute and rendered many onlookers speechless. After goalkeeper Andre Onana repelled a number of Everton efforts to level the score, United went on to double and eventually triple the advantage in the second period through a penalty by Marcus Rashford and an ice-cool finish from Anthony Martial - his ninth goal in 17 appearances against the Toffees.

The protesting Everton supporters, vocal United fans in the away section and millions of TV viewers had barely settled into their seats when Rashford released the overlapping right-back Diogo Dalot and his pull-back from the byline inspired Garnacho to pull off the most audacious of goalscoring attempts.

The young Argentina international's right-footed connection with the cross was clean and clinical and as the ball arced over Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Reds around the world were united in ecstasy and awe, perhaps even some disbelief. It's hard to overstate how stupendous the third-minute opener was.

If it seemed United would immediately make a mockery of what had been billed as a really challenging away fixture, given the furore around Everton's sanction by the football authorities and also some admiration for the way Sean Dyche's men had improved, it didn't pan out that way for a long while. Indeed, it could be argued that the Toffees were much the better side in the first half following Garnacho's goal and Onana, for one, might agree with that having been called into action several times.

The Cameroonian goalkeeper made two saves to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin but was grateful to Kobbie Mainoo, making his first Premier League start, for the goalline clearance that kept out a follow-up from James Garner, another United Academy graduate. Idrissa Gueye sent a snapshot flying over the bar in another moment of alarm for the Reds.

The game restarted with a sense that Everton could eventually find an equaliser, such had been their dominance of the first half's latter stages. But instead, the pivotal next goal was scored by United after a VAR decision favoured Ten Hag's team.

When Martial went down inside the area as he tried to surge past former team-mate Ashley Young, referee John Brooks initially made a call that the Frenchman had dived and showed him the yellow card. However, the official was sent over to the screen and after checking the footage, he corrected his error, rescinded the booking and pointed to the spot. Rashford, rather than the usual taker Bruno Fernandes, stepped up to convert the penalty by rifling his shot into the top left corner.

Similar to how they had done in the first half, Everton responded to conceding a goal by taking a greater share of the possession. Gueye looked to have unleashed a wonder-goal of his own, only to find a flying Onana pushing the ball wide with an incredible save. Also, Dalot had to produce an important block to keep out a thunderous effort by Abdoulaye Doucoure.

But the Reds also maintained an attacking threat and when Rashford floated a deep left-wing cross to the far post, some fans inside Goodison Park could be forgiven for thinking Garnacho had rippled the net again with an outstretched right foot. Instead, he hit the side netting and it was to be the Argentinian's last act before taking a breather and being replaced by his fellow South American, Facundo Pellistri.
Sofyan Amrabat also came on in that double substitution in the 72nd minute, as the impressively composed Mainoo was given a well-earned rest, but it was Pellistri who made an almost immediate impact. Operating on the right, the young Uruguayan received the ball from a turning Martial close to the halfway line and weaved his way forward to feed Fernandes. The Reds captain swiftly threaded a pass through the eye of a needle and there was Martial gliding between Everton's centre-backs to coolly dink a first-time finish over Pickford, as the England goalkeeper advanced in vain.

In response to going 3-0 down, the Toffees tried their luck from range as left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko curled a shot against Onana's crossbar. Pickford later denied Pellistri as the action again switched to the other end of the pitch.

With that crucial Champions League game against Galatasaray just three days away, the fresh legs of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Hannibal were sent into the fray and Shaw and Martial were both allowed to watch the closing stages from the bench, safe in the knowledge they had played a big part in an impressive away win.
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Everton: Pickford; Young (Patterson, 73), Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Harrison, Garner, Gueye, Doucoure (Dobbin, 90), McNeil (Danjuma, 73); Calvert-Lewin (Chermiti, 82).

Substitutes not used: Joao Virginia, Coleman, Godfrey, Hunt, Keane.

Bookings: Young, Gueye, Doucoure.

Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw (Wan-Bissaka, 76); McTominay, Mainoo (Amrabat, 72); Rashford, Fernandes, Garnacho (Pellistri, 72); Martial (Hannibal, 84).

Substitutes not used: Bayindir, Reguilon, Varane, van de Beek, Hugill.

Bookings: None.

Goals: Garnacho 3, Rashford 56 (pen), Martial 75.

Match videos:

  • Ten Hag: We have to make it our game Video

    Ten Hag: We have to make it our game

    Erik discusses the "hostile" Goodison Park atmosphere and explains why Mainoo and Shaw start...

  • Arriving at Goodison Video

    Arriving at Goodison

    Erik ten Hag and his players make their way into Goodison Park, ahead of our Premier League clash with the Toffees...