Everton and Manchester United played a must-win game this Sunday. With both clubs needing the three points to get closer to their respective goals, this tilt at Goodison Park was huge for both sides although once the ball started rolling, it seemed only Everton cared about this result.
Thanks to a commanding performance on both sides of the ball, the hosts secured an impressive 4-0 win. Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott found the back of the net, meaning Everton remain very much alive on the race for a potential UEFA Europa League berth. On the other hand, The Red Devils keep slipping and their Champions League could be gone for good after this weekend.
Without further ado, here are three things we learned from this game.
Games like these are the reason why everybody wants to sign Richarlison
Despite playing only 51 minutes, Richarlison showed in this game why Barcelona are so eager to sign him ahead of next season. The Brazil international was a constant menace on Everton’s attacking line, and the opposing defenders simply couldn’t find a way to stop him.
To make things even better, he scored what could be a Goal of the Season contender with a lovely scissor kick that left David De Gea helpless. It was his 13th goal in 33 Premier League appearances. But most importantly, it opened the scored and killed the other side’s morale in a must-win match for the hosts.
That’s the mark of a great player, and what separates the best from the rest.
Manchester United must settle with the Europa League berth, and that’s it
The Red Devils must wait to know what will happen with Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in this round, but make no mistake. Manchester United must be smart and focus on securing the fifth spot in the standings.
Yes, they are within striking distance of a Top 4 finish. And in the worst-case scenario, they will end up five points behind Arsenal with four matches left to play. That is not a lot of difference, but let’s be honest. United can’t beat good teams playing like this. And with all the issues they’ve had during the current term, perhaps the best alternative would be to end the season as soon as possible. Even if that means failing to get into the Champions League.
Did Solskjaer once again got the starting XI all wrong?
When Solskjaer first joined Manchester United back in December, he turned the squad around and he seemed like the ideal man to replace Jose Mourinho. But after watching The Red Devils play these past few weeks, that seems like a distant memory once again. Considering the circumstances, it’s fair to ask. Did Solskjaer made another mistake when setting up the starting XI here?
We say “another” because this is not the first time something like this happens. It also happened in both losses against Barca, and in the FA Cup defeat against Wolverhampton. This time, and knowing this was a winnable yet important match, Solskjaer’s experiments didn’t pan out. Victor Lindelof looked quite bad as a right-back, Phil Jones struggled as a centre-back, and Fred was downright poor.
Knowing Everton has a relatively slow defence with Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane, wouldn’t have been better to start either Jesse Lingard or Alexis Sanchez instead of Romelu Lukaku? Ashley Young would’ve also been an excellent alternative – due to his experience. Hopefully for United’s fans sake, Solskjaer learns about this. He will need it for next season.
Everton: Pickford (6); Coleman (5), Keane (6), Zouma (6), Digne (7) (Jagielka (-), 85′); Schneiderlin (5), Gueye (6) (McCarthy (-), 76′); Richarlison (8) (Walcott (7), 51′), Sigurdsson (7), Bernard (6); Calvert-Lewin (6)
Bench: Stekelenburg (GK), Davies, Lookman, Tosun
Manchester United: De Gea (4); Lindelof (4), Smalling (5), Jones (3) (Young (5), 46′), Dalot (4); Fred (4) (McTominay (4), 46′), Matic (5), Pogba (4); Martial (5), Lukaku (4), Rashford (5) (Andreas (-), 77′)
Bench: Romero (GK), Lingard, Mata, Alexis
Goals: Richarlison (1-0, 13′), Sigurdsson (2-0, 28′), Digne (3-0, 56′), Walcott (4-0, 64′)
Yellow Cards: Gueye (EVE), McTominay (MU)
Red Cards: None
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!