REPORT | Manchester United 3-1 Everton

Lampard’s squad improves but cannot get over the hurdle, falling out of the FA Cup in the third round at Old Trafford. 

Everton named a strong squad for the third round of the cup, no doubt with Lampard and company feeling the mounting pressure of the inevitable waving over their heads around the friendly grounds of Finch Farm. Reverting back to a back five was Lampard’s preferred formation, Seamus Coleman slotting in for the injured Nathan Patterson with a familiar back three of Godfrey, Tarkowski and Coady. Gueye, Onana and Iwobi sat in midfield with Demari Gray and Neal Maupay leading the line for the visitors. 

After a miserable 1-4 defeat at Goodison to Brighton, blues fans would be hoping for a somewhat motivated start following an embarrassing drubbing that saw the squad booed off its home pitch. However, it would not come, United would take the lead in the 4th minute after Marcus Rashford raced around the backline, firing across the goal line for Antony to finish at close range to put the hosts up 1-0. Everton would find life 10 minutes later however, as Gray smacked the post from the edge of the box.

Inexplicably, however, it would be a howler from David De Gea that leveled the match for Everton. Onana turned Casemiro well, and then found Maupay on the byline. Maupay fired a low driven effort at the near post that somehow squirmed through De Gea’s legs and found Conor Coady, who tapped home to the delight of the traveling supporters leveling the match at 1-1. The rest of the first half would be played at a high tempo by the hosts, drawing multiple saves out of Pickford in the Everton goal, with the visitors offering very little in the way of real chances on the other end of the pitch. Despite the wave of red in Everton’s third, the blues held well and managed to get to the halftime whistle at 1-1.

The second half would not start well for Everton however, with the hosts bombing forward and eventually finding the match’s third goal. Marcus Rashford once again showed individual brilliance and beat the backline to get to the byline. He send another ball across the face of goal that was turned in by the man who scored for the blues in the first half Conor Coady. Despite the own goal, the blues raced back and nearly scored only two minutes later as Coleman drove down the pitch and laid it off to Doucoure, Doucoure fired back to Coleman who had his shot saved with the rebound falling to a stretching Mykolenko who could not get enough on his effort to put the ball in the back of the net.

Despite Iwobi’s injury, Everton continued to hang in the match and played well for long stretches of the second half. It looked as if the blues had found an equalizer when a beautiful move between Gray and Coleman eventually found Calvert Lewin who prodded in at close range with his chest to level the match. However, Gray was ruled offside in the buildup and the crushing decision would leave Everton behind in the match. The visitors would continue to battle hard at Old Trafford but would not find the equalizer, instead giving up a penalty at the death that was scored by Rashford to make it 3-1 and seal the blues’ fate.

It is easy to say that Everton looked better than they did against Brighton, any amount of organization and desire on the pitch could have been called better than the 1-4 home defeat only days earlier. However, ahead of what might be the most important league match of the season so far at home to Southampton, Everton have not won a match in what seems like decades and Lampard’s time as manager is hanging on by a thread. With the January window now open, the blues continue to look to do business as they gear up for what will ultimately be the club’s second relegation fight in as many years, likely behind a third manager.


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