Manchester United earned a nervy 2-1 victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday evening.
Paul Pogba gave United the lead mid-way through the first-half as he converted at the second time of asking from the penalty spot despite his initial effort being saved by Jordan Pickford. Anthony Martial then continued his great from in front of goal as he doubled the advantage with a sumptuous effort only minutes into the second-half.
Gylfi Sigurdsson reduced the deficit as Everton were awarded their own penalty after Chris Smalling fouled Richarlison but it proved to be only a consolation as the Red Devils secured victory.
Headed efforts not threatening enough
The match started off very similarly to United’s previous matches, with the hosts struggling any chances of note. The best opportunity of the opening stages fell to Andre Gomes as he connected well with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner but could only direct his header straight at David De Gea.
Juan Mata then did exactly the same as he got free into the box only to nod straight at Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal. Anthony Martial then had a spectacular effort tipped away by the Toffees’ stopper.
Pogba fortunate to tuck home missed penalty
Mourinho’s men, who had Romelu Lukaku on the bench, were then gave a huge opportunity to score after Martial was tripped in the box by Idrissa Gueye and the referee pointed to the spot. Pogba stepped up but had his initial effort saved by Pickford. He was fortunate to see the ball fall straight at his feet again and it was tucked into the bottom corner.
The goal looked to give the Red Devils plenty of confidence and Fred almost doubled the lead but could only fizz a low effort wide of the post.
Martial steps up to the plate again
It only took a few minutes for both sides to carve out chances in the second period. Richarlison forced a solid low stop from De Gea before Martial doubled United’s lead with a great curling effort. The Frenchman was found by an excellent pass from Pogba and steered the ball into the far corner beyond Pickford for his fourth goal in three games.
Marco Silva’s team should really have hit back straight away as Bernard sprinted beyond the United defence. The tricky Brazilian skipped around De Gea but somehow put his shot into the side-netting with an open goal gaping.
United continued to create chances throughout the game. Marcus Rashford managed to get free but could only shoot straight at Pickford. The stopper also denied Pogba as the Red Devils looked to put the game to bed.
Everton get foothold from spot
Everton defender Seamus Coleman also had a great opportunity to score as he was slipped in by Richarlison but could only put the ball over the bar.
The visitors did get on the scoresheet eventually and it was from the penalty spot. Sloppy play from Pogba saw Richarlison race through and he was taken down by Chris Smalling. Jon Moss again pointed to the spot, with Sigurdsson stepping up and firing past De Gea.
Martial should have sewn up the points in the closing stages but could not quite beat Pickford when one-on-one. It mattered not though as the Red Devils shut up shop to secure maximum points.
Overall, the hosts were probably good value for their victory despite a nervy ending to the match. The Red Devils were much improved in an offensive sense, with Martial’s goal being of premium quality. They will aim to make it back-to-back wins against Bournemouth next weekend.
Meanwhile, Marco Silva will be frustrated that his side were not able to get anything out of the game. They probably did not push enough in the final stages and will look to rectify that against Brighton & Hove Albion next time.
Manchester United: De Gea (6); Shaw (7), Lindelöf (6), Smalling (6), Young (7); Pogba (6), Matic (7), Fred (6) (Lingard (N/A), 90+5′); Martial (7), Rashford (6) (Lukaku (6), 65′), Mata (6) (Herrera (N/A), 85′).
Everton: Pickford (7); Digne (6), Zouma (6), Keane (6), Coleman (7); Gueye (6), Gomes (6); Bernard (5) (Lookman (6), 62′), Sigurdsson (7), Walcott (6); Richarlison (6).
Goals: Pogba (27′), Martial (49′), Sigurdsson PEN (77′)
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Yellow Cards: Smalling (20′), Gueye (22′) Matic (39′)
Red Cards: N/A
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