Iwobi wonder goal not enough as Everton fall to defeat in the Premier League for the first time in seven matches.
Coming off of a come from behind 1-2 victory at Southampton in Everton’s last league match, there was a sense of confidence amongst the supporters and the team that a result was on the cards as Frank Lampard and company welcomed Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United. Lampard made only one change to the side that won on the south coast, replacing one of last week’s goalscorers in Dwight McNeil for Anthony Gordon in the starting eleven. Dominic Calvert-Lewin also made his long awaited return to the squad on Sunday, but was fit enough only for a bench spot.
Everton were quick out of the blocks on Sunday amidst a fantastic atmosphere in Goodison Park, as Alexander Iwobi let fly from outside the box and curled in a breathtaking finish past David De Get in the 5th minute to put the blues up 1-0 early on the visitors. Unfortunately for the hosts, the air would be sucked out of the building in the 15th minute, as Idrissa Gueye made a costly and uncharacteristic error in the middle of the park. Bruno Fernando’s dispossessed Gueye in the Everton half, poked it forward to Martial who then fed a pass into Antony who finished well past Pickford in goal to level the game at 1-1.
The sloppiness in midfield continued only 5 minutes later as Eriksen benefitted from a cheap giveaway by Onana in midfield, with the midfielder striking at goal from 20 yards out and producing a good save from Pickford in goal. Pickford would be called into action again only two minutes later as Martial spun in the box and looked to have a goal but Pickford was quick off his line to eliminate the threat to keep the score level.
Manchester United would have a sterling chance to take the lead in the 42nd minute as Marcus Rashford split the backline with a cross that fell right to the head of Casemiro who inexplicably put it wide and spurned the chance. Only two minutes later though, it would be the substitute Ronaldo striking for his 700th club goal, as he beat Seamus Coleman on the wing and slotted home with his weaker left foot to give the visitors a backbreaking advantage as the halftime whistle blew at Goodison Park.
The second half would start with Everton under pressure once again, with Onana picking up a yellow card in the 51st minute and Casemiro firing wide of goal only moments later. Struggling to create chances, Lampard would look to the bench for inspiration bringing on McNeil in place of Anthony Gordon who had a rough day on the pitch. The 71st minute would see the best Everton chance in a long spell as Demari Gray fired in a cross that was met by Onana, but his header went just over the crossbar.
With 15 minutes to go, Everton would make a double change, with James Garner making his Everton debut replacing Seamus Coleman, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin would make his long awaited return from injury replacing Idrissa Gueye. It looked like the game had been wrapped up in the 82nd minute as another poor defensive moment from the toffees saw Rashford skip through the defense, dribble around Pickford and finish to put the visitors up 1-3. However, the offside flag would go up on Rashford and the goal would not stand.
Everton’s last change would come in the 84th minute as Rondon replaced a largely hushed Neal Maupay. The hosts would throw everything at Manchester United late on whipping in corner after corner, however, the elusive equalizer would not quite fall for the blues as Everton would drop their first match in seven league games.
It was a largely frustrating match that saw a beautiful goal from Iwobi cancelled out by two goals for the visitors that came directly from Everton mistakes. It was an uncharacteristically error-filled match for a midfield that has quickly solidified itself as dependable, and will look to bounce back in stronger fashion on the road against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.