5 Things We Learnt: Manchester United 2-1 Everton
1. The shocking away record continues..
First things first, while the performance was admirable in comparison to the 4-0 demolition job last season. Everton are yet to win at Old Trafford in their last five visits (the last win being the 1-0 of December 2013).
With three wins from their last three Premier League games, on Everton could have not wished for better momentum coming up against someone who’s inconsistencies have been evident all season. That’s just three wins for Everton at Old Trafford since 1992, which is a record I am sure no one is proud of.
2. Everton against the referee, again..
The run of play shifted significantly after Paul Pogba converted the rebound from the spot as his original penalty had been saved by Jordan Pickford and subject to the most ridiculous run up in football history (28 steps?!).
Needless to say, it wasn’t even a penalty. Jon Moss has yet again been forced into scrutiny thanks to not doing his job properly and awarding United a penalty 26 minutes for an Antony Martial dive that was clear as day in real time. Idrissa Gueye got his foot to the ball with ease. Time for robots and video replays to stamp human errors out of football- it’s costing the Blues in particular, big points.
3. Andre Gomes is cool, calm and collected yet again..
It’s worth mentioning. The trip to “the theatre of dreams” was just Gomes’ second competitive fixture for Everton following his debut in the home win against Crystal Palace last week and a lengthy injury lay off.
The Portuguese international has become a firm fans favourite in the royal blue jersey due to his intelligence and efficiency both on and off the ball, there is a clear desire to improve as a player too. Completing 89% of his passes and completing more passes to a team mate (41) that Juan Mata (35). He is certainly one to study for any aspiring central midfielders.
4, Certainly a statistical improvement can be noted..
46% possession to United’s 54%. 16 tackles to United’s 15. Both sides having 14 shots. Refereeing calamity aside, Everton did give Manchester United a good game- despite underperforming.
Although Ronald Koeman’s Everton had the main share of possession. United’s 16 shots to Everton’s seven speak volumes of the collapse that afternoon, and how Everton are improving incrementally under Marco Silva.
5. The newfound squad depth needs to be explored to keep players fighting for their place..
This goes out to Ademola Lookman and Cenk Tosun in particular. After a bag full of wasted chances from Richarlison, Bernard and Theo Walcott, it seems the appropriate time to let the likes of Lookman and Tosun off their chains.
Not only will this build up match fitness in the dawn of the hectic winter schedule, but this reinforces that no place is safe. Deliver or someone else will. It is the cornerstone of any good side and with the players at Silva’s disposal, it may very much be worth a whirl.