Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani shine as Manchester United beat Everton


Liverpool: A comeback was important for Manchester United, to be on the Premier League race and it happened on Saturday at the Goodison Park. Coming from behind, United beat Everton 3-1 and clinched their third victory in the league. Portuguese talisman, Bruno Fernandes scored twice and the newbie Uruguayan Edinson Cavani scored his first goal for the ‘Red Devils’.

Bernard scored the solitary goal for Everton. This win has been United’s record seven-match away win and relief for manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer. The match started with promise as both the teams were looking for victory for their own reasons. For Everton, it was to go up the table and lead the league while United badly wanted to come back to their glory days.

On 19 minutes, Bernard gave Merseyside club the lead with a clinical placement that went past United ‘keeper David De Gea. United responded six minutes later after Fernandes headed past Jordon Pickford from a Luke Shaw cross. United was playing better football at that moment and they scored again in the 32nd minute of the game and it was Fernandes again.

In the second half, Everton started strongly as they were moving fast through the midfield but, United Captain Harry Maguire played his best game of the season as he denied many heading opportunities for Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin who has been in a fine goal-scoring form. The icing on the cake happened at the stoppage time.

In the 95th minute, a United counterattack led to their third goal. Fernandes showed his unselfishness by passing the ball towards Cavani and the seasoned professional made no mistake to convert it and getting his first goal for United thus ending the week on a good note after two consecutive losses in the league and the Champions League.

Manchester United looked sharp and fresh from the start of the game. They were playing better football than Everton with accurate passing and movement. It was important for them to come back from where they were on this week and no doubt this victory will boost their confidence before going to the international break. Fernandes has been the driver for United.

More importantly, Fernandes played in every area of the park. From defending to snatching balls, to scoring he did it all on the field. Maybe he has just provided some oxygen to his manager who was on the verge of saying goodbye after a poor start to the league and being inconsistent. Ole looked happy after the match, he knew how important the match was for the team and to win it before the international break.

The defence looked settled and confident as Maguire and Victor Lindelöf looked better than before. It never looked that like that this defensive pair has come up from two consecutive defeats, and to face the hot favourites of the league. Fred and Scott Mctominay were like two pillars in the midfield for them. They played really well and they just need to be consistent.

Marcus Rashford missed an opportunity in the second half and played a more free role on the right, left and middle, at the upfront. Even the second Bruno goal was first given to Rashford but later it was seen that there was no touch from the United’s no. 10. But he has been good but needs this kind of regular support from his players. Birthday boy De Gea had no saves to make as there were no critical chances created by Everton to make him suffer. 

Only the goal he conceded was the only one proper shot on target by Carlo Ancelotti’s men. They move to 10 points after seven games and hold the 13th spot before the international break. Ole will be happy but he needs to motivate his players to play well in every other game or else it will be another mid-table finish for the most successful club of the Barclays English Premier League.

Everton wanted to go past their city rival Liverpool to hold the top spot and wanted to emphasise their unbeaten form at their home. But things triggered back for Ancelotti. They lacked at the midfield and missed a good strike partner for Calvert-Lewin and certainly lacked depth in their squad. This has been their third straight defeat in the Premier League.

Even when Bernard scored, the team was not playing the way they started the season and was lackluster defensively. Michael Keane and Mason Holgate looked lost for ideas during both the United goals scored in the first half. Seamus Coleman was up to fighting with Fernandes rather than playing football. Only Lucas Digne played well by overlapping and distributing from the left and was linking well with Bernard.

But the end product never came as Calvert-Lewin was totally bottled by the United defence. James Rodriguez tried but he is human after all. He was marked well by Fred and Mctominay and even Luke Shaw joined the party. So it was an underwhelming game to say at least for Everton. Maybe the introduction of Richarlison after the international break can again get things going for Ancelotti and his boys.

Southampton holds the top spot with 16 points after they beat Newcastle United, 2-0 on Friday.


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