zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

Everton 0-1 Manchester United

Early Chicharito strike gives Sir Alex Ferguson's side much-needed three points

Mexican striker nets early to hand Red Devils a vital away victory as they start on road to recovery following derby defeat last weekend

An early Javier Hernandez goal helped Manchester United back to winning ways in the Premier League as Sir Alex Ferguson's men beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Mexican's first-half effort was stoutly defended by the visitors as David Moyes' side were more than equal to the Premier League champions for much of the contest, with the hosts' having two penalty appeals turned down late on.

David Moyes brought in Seamus Coleman and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to reinforce his defence against a Manchester United side that would no doubt be keen to rectify last Sunday's 6-1 horror defeat by Manchester City. 

Sir Alex Ferguson made wholesale changes to the team that defeated Aldershot 3-0 in the League Cup on Tuesday, with Rio Ferdinand and Nani dropping to the bench as the Scot brought back Tom Cleverley into the starting XI following injury.

In what had been a troublesome six days, one glimmer of good news was the contract extension of Chicharito, who confirmed his desire to stay with the Premier League champions further with the opening goal.

Ferguson’s faith in the striker paid off in the first half, when a slick move from the left of midfield involving Cleverley and Danny Welbeck opened space for Patrice Evra in the channel, and the French international’s ball across the face of goal gave the Mexican a simple tap-in from only a few yards to give the visitors the lead.

Everton soon regained a foothold in the game however, with Jack Rodwell unlucky to see his left footed strike bend just beyond the far post with David de Gea beaten, after the midfielder dispossessed Cleverly well.

Bouncing back | Welbeck helped United overcome their derby humiliation

The hosts' best chance to level came shortly before the break when Darren Fletcher fouled Marouane Fellaini on the edge of the box. Leighton Baines duly stepped up to take the free-kick, and his sweetly struck shot beat the wall only to smash against the crossbar with De Gea reduced to helpless spectator.

Rodwell still looked the most likely to equalise for the home side in the second half and when Coleman slid the ball inside from the right, the 20-year-old’s dart through the middle allowed space to hammer a shot goalwards, forcing a sprawling save from De Gea.

Manchester United were forced into a change when Cleverley limped off to be replaced by Nani as Ferguson changed his hand.

Everton looked susceptible to the counter attack all afternoon, and were caught out by a long-range cross field pass which was beautifully chested down by Welbeck, with only a great save from former United goalkeeper Tim Howard keeping the scoreline intact.

Ferguson continued to alter the face of his attack when Dimitar Berbatov replaced goalscorer Chicharito and shortly after, Welbeck came off for Antonio Valencia as the visitors looked to double their advantage.

The home side continued to push for an equaliser, and in a frantic spell late on Everton felt they should have been awarded a penalty, as United failed to clear a corner, optimistic shouts for handball were waved away by referee Mark Halsey.

An unusual substitution took place as the game was drawing to its conclusion when assistant referee Andy Halliday slipped and injured himself, with fourth official Phil Dowd called upon to run the line for the closing stages.

There was enough added time for Everton to claim for a further penalty when Magaye Gueye slipped under pressure for Everton, once again Halsey said no, as Manchester United were able to hold on to their slim advantage and gain a much-needed confidence boost in the Premier League.


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