Sunday 3 April 2016

Match report: United 1-0 Everton

Anthony Martial scored United's 1,000th Premier League goal at Old Trafford to seal a vital victory over Everton on the day when the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand was unveiled.

The Frenchman fired in the decisive winner seven minutes into the second half as he squeezed home a Timothy Fosu-Mensah cross to send his side above West Ham and back to within a point of the top four. 

The atmosphere before kick-off was particularly special with fans in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand holding aloft coloured tiles to spell 'Sir Bobby' in one giant mosaic effect, as the South Stand was renamed in the club legend's honour 60 years on from his United debut. 

Martial looked the hosts most potent attacker and twice went within inches of an early opener.

First, he lashed an effort narrowly wide after good link-up between Marcos Rojo and Marcus Rashford, before he volleyed off target having played a neat one-two with the again impressive Jesse Lingard. 

At the other end, Romelu Lukaku- kept largely in check by the excellent Chris Smalling and Daley Blind, was nearly in on goal for the first time but David de Gea was alert to clear the ball at the feet of the onrushing Belgian.

Everton, who came into the match with an impressive record on the road, started the second half brightly and went close through Lukaku's deflected effort before the Reds took the lead on 54 minutes.

The goal came against the run of play as Rashford flicked on to Fosu-Mensah whom in turn picked out Martial to steer the ball in for United's 1,000th home Premier League goal.

The visitors responded well to the setback and went close twice in quick succession, on both occasions through the unlikely source of Phil Jagielka.

The centre-back nodded against the bar from a corner and was then brilliantly denied by De Gea from close range following a goalmouth scramble.

Rashford was unable to turn home from Juan Mata on the stretch and Smalling had a half chance blocked, but United had to hold on for victory as the Toffees came on strong in the closing stages. 

Everton pushed for a late leveller and forced Fosu-Mensah into a smart clearance to keep out Seamus Coleman but that proved to be the final play as United took a precious three points in pursuit of a top four position. 

Overall team performance: 7/10
United Faithful Man of the Match: Daley Blind. Never going to match Lukaku for pace and power but did a great job in keeping the 25-goal striker quiet. 

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