Everton hosted Manchester United on Sunday evening with both sides out of sorts in the Premier League recently.
Both made strong starts to the season, only to fall away behind the top four as the season has worn on. In that regard, three points were vital for each of these teams to maintain the pressure on the teams above them.
There was an early moment of controversy when Marcos Rojo really should have seen red for this appalling challenge on Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, but the Argentine international somehow escaped with a yellow.
The first goal came just before half time, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his sixth goal in five games, lobbing the onrushing Maarten Stekelenburg after a moment of madness from the Dutch goalkeeper.
Man United looked like seeing the game out until substitute Marouane Fellaini, having just come on, recklessly gave away a penalty. Leighton Baines did the necessary and equalised from the spot with minutes remainng.
1-1 the final score, and both these sides’ continue their search for that winning run.
But how did each player fare at Goodison?
Everton Player Ratings:
Maarten Stekelenburg – 3.5: What was he thinking, coming out like that for the goal. That rush of blood was the low point of a fairly indifferent performance overall.
Seamus Coleman – 6: Withdrawn in the second half, but it was a relatively quiet afternoon for Coleman as he battled with Anthony Martial in the oppoistion.
Ashley Williams – 6.5: Dragged down a bit by Funes Mori next to, nonetheless Williams was relatively solid against the Man United attack.
Ramiro Funes Mori – 5.5: Didn’t look confident at all. Perhaps Jagielka would have been the better choice to start, and probably could have reacted better to Ibrahimovic’s goalbound shot.
Leighton Baines – 6: Restricted in attack, and when he did venture forward his final ball wasn’t great. Still, showed great composure for the late penalty.
Yannick Bolasie – 5.5: Not a great display from the £30m winger, as his end product was wasteful.
Gareth Barry – 5: Lucky to escape a booking more than once (even before he did finally get one), struggled to get into the game and passing could have been a lot better.
Idrissa Gueye – 8: Lively, threatening, fantastic. As good at protecting the defence as he was going forward, bossed the centre of the park at times.
Tom Cleverley – 4: The polar opposite to Gueye. Uttely anonymous and the first time anybody noticed he was on the pitch is when he was coming off to be substituted.
Kevin Mirallas – 6.5: Much, much better in the second half, Mirallas woke up in the second half when he finally realised that Rojo could could be got at.
Romelu Lukaku – 6: Decent effort, but was isolated. Not helped by the crossing by the wide players not coming off.
Gerard Deulofeu (Cleverley 65) – 6: Inconsistent, but even that was a step up from Cleverley.
Mason Holgate (Coleman 67) – 6.5: Replaced Coleman midway through the second half and found the pace of the game almost straight away. Always looked for the ball and to cause problems don the right.
Enner Valencia (Bolasie 68) – 6.5: Another decent substitution from Koeman, and other who used his speed well.
Manchester United Player Ratings:
David De Gea – 7: Made a couple of decent stops to keep his side ahead. Could do nothing for the penalty.
Antonio Valencia – 7: Solid without being spectacular, Valencia divided his time well between attack and defence.
Marcos Rojo – 4.5: Lucky not to see red in the first half, and any hope of an improved performance in the second fell away the moment Kevin Mirallas woke up and began swatting him away.
Phil Jones – 8.5: Had to do the work of two centre-backs and did so brilliantly. Dominant in the air against Lukaku, tight in the marking and in the tackle. He’s making a case to be Eric Bailly’s defensive partner.
Matteo Darmian – 5.5: A more on-form winger than Bolasie would have made bits of Darmain today, and the Italian international offered little going forward himself wither.
Michael Carrick – 6.5: Solid but tended to drift in and out of the game. .When he did have the ball, however, his passing accuracy was of its usual high standard.
Ander Herrera – 6.5: As with Carrick, Herrera was decent without being commanding. This was Gueye’s midfield and the two Man United midfielders were simply visiting it.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7: Faded in the second half, had some decent touches in the first but this was nowhere near the standard he set against West Ham in midweek.
Paul Pogba – 7: Good display from Pogba, but that number ten role really isn’t his position. Created more chances than any other Man United player, but would have been more useful in a more withdrawn role.
Anthony Martial – 7: Simply had to start after his display in midweek. This wasn’t quite at the same level, but in a frustrating season for Martial, these kinds of games where he works hard even (even when the final ball isn’t there) will stand to him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 7: His passing accuracy wasn’t up to scratch and he went missing for periods, but he justified his place by scoring his side’s only goal with a well-taken finish. Mourinho will eventually have to secide if the latter makes up for the former, especially if pacey wingers are going to be a characteristic of this team.
Marcus Rashford (Martial 83) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.
Marouane Fellaini (Mkhitaryan 85) – 1: Oh God.
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Read More About: ander herrera, Antonio Valencia, ashley williams, everton, jose mourinho, Leighton Baines, Man United, marcos rojo, marouane fellaini, Paul Pogba, phil jones, Premier League, romelu lukaku, ronald koeman, Seamus Coleman, zlatan ibrahimovic