Sunday 28 October 2018

Match report: United 2-1 Everton

United's UK French connection earned the Reds a first win in eight games and sent us above Marco Silva's Toffees into eighth in the table, five points off fourth placed Arsenal.
However, the football paled into insignificance after a truly black, sad day for the game we all love after a weekend in which Glenn Hoddle - one of the greatest players and coaches of his generation - was rushed to hospital having suffered a heart attack. A Brighton fan died during their tie with Wolves and Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanapradha was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed in the King Power car park after the draw with West Ham. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved.

It was two players that have been the subject of much fierce and frenzied speculation over their futures that did the damage for Jose Mourinho, as Paul Pogba's fortuitous opener was added to after half time by in-form Anthony Martial with his fourth goal in as many games.
Mourinho mixed things up as Fred came into midfield and, with Romelu Lukaku dropped after his barren run, Marcus Rashford was moved into a central role for the first time this season. The Reds had started brightly and, after Juan Mata went close early on, took the lead shortly before the half hour mark.
Referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot after he adjudged Idriss Gueye to have fouled Martial. It looked harsh, and saw Gueye escape further censure, and after a trademark long, slow run up, Pogba saw his penalty saved by Jordan Pickford. He could only parry the Frenchman's effort, though, and Pogba accepted the gift from six yards on the rebound at the second time of asking.

Martial was at his mesmeric best and picked out Mata after a mazy run, but the Spaniard nodded wide. Rashford had a goal chalked out for offside, but Silva's side responded with two efforts of their own in quick succession shortly before the break. David de Gea easily held Gylfi Sigurdsson's header, and he then also dealt with Theo Walcott's drive from distance on the cusp of the interval.
1-0 had started to look like an increasingly precarious lead but United were given breathing space with a goal made and finished in France on 49 minutes. Pogba collected the ball from deep and, with everyone inside Old Trafford expecting a shot, he instead fed his compatriot Martial who did the rest with a lovely curling finish from 20 yards.

Bernard fired into the side netting having rounded DDG, and Everton proved they would not go quietly when Richardson fired wide before Sigurdsson scored from the spot after Chris Smalling had scythed down the Brazilian forward.

Haunting memories of Chelsea's late Stamford Bridge salvo came flooding back when six minutes were once more added, but - this time - the Reds saw out the tie in relative comfort to secure a much needed victory. Pickford saved well from Martial in the final throes of the contest, but Mourinho's men had done enough.

Overall team performance: 7/10
United Faithful Man of the Match: Anthony Martial

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