The Debate: What did the Everton win show?
The general consensus after Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Everton on Sunday was that the Erik ten Hag’s side showed brilliant character and resilience to come from a goal behind and see out an important victory against the in-form Toffees.
Ten Hag praised his side for the performance, which got the Reds back to winning ways in the Premier League, and the Dutchman will no doubt be hoping that run extends throughout a busy October period.
On this week’s episode of The Debate, Liam Bradford was joined by journalists Laurie Whitwell and Rob Dawson, and former Reds pair Danny Webber and Danny Simpson, to discuss the victory at Goodison Park, among other topics.
All agreed that the three points were vital for Ten Hag's side, following last weekend's Premier League defeat at Man City, and Simpson and Webber offered their thoughts on how the victory stacks up against two other impressive United triumphs from this season: the home wins over Arsenal and Liverpool.
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“I’d put Arsenal and Liverpool ahead of the Everton one,” said Simpson. “But I think, after the City game you go to Everton away; it’s always tough to go to Everton away.
“After going 1-0 down and showing that character and resilience, I thought it was really good and especially in a night game at Everton away.
“They go 1-0 up and you think they’re just going to sit back, soak it up and it’s going to be tough to break them down. But credit to the lads, they showed great character and patience and got a good win.”
Webber agreed with Simpson's analysis, adding that he was particularly impressed with the development the Reds have made since losses against Brighton and Brentford at the start of the season.
“It shows progress,” he said. “I think for me, you’re looking at it and thinking ‘OK, how do we recover from the City game, against a team that have been resolute at the back?’ They sat back, they really sat back tight, and it surprised me that they didn’t come out and have a go at us. I think it was only [Anthony] Gordon that really looked like he wanted to have a go. Demarai Gray at times, [Neal] Maupay was up for a little scrap, but other than that, we were in full control. We gifted them the goal.
“You can look at those moments and [realise] our head didn’t drop. It would have dropped earlier in the season, against Brentford and Brighton, so I look at it as progression. There’s loads to tidy up on, loads to improve on, but in terms of performances and people putting it in, which is what we need, we got the job done.”
The Reds will be hoping to build on Sunday's Goodison Park triumph this week, with games in the Europa League and the Premier League on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.
First, Omonia Nicosia visit Old Trafford for the first-time ever, in a match which could see United take a huge stride towards knockout-stage qualification.
After that, in-form Newcastle travel to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday, as Ten Hag's side look to record consecutive league victories.