Manchester United 2-0 Everton: Two first-half penalties earn Erik ten Hag’s side victory


Marcus Rashford scores from the penalty spot in Manchester United's victory over Everton in the Premier League
Marcus Rashford’s first-half penalty was his seventh Premier League goal of the season

Manchester United ended their two-match losing streak as first-half penalties from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were enough to defeat Everton at Old Trafford.

In a strange game, in which Everton became the fifth side in six Premier League games to have at least 20 shots against Erik ten Hag’s side, the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy and reckless defending.

Skipper James Tarkowski and fellow defender Ben Godfrey both caught Alejandro Garnacho with rash challenges.

Fernandes took the first spot-kick and beat Jordan Pickford with a precise low shot to the England keeper’s left corner.

However, the United skipper passed on responsibility to Rashford on the second occasion. It seemed a needless risk but Rashford kept his nerve to send Pickford the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season.

After defeats by Fulham and Manchester City, the result pushed United to within three points of fifth-placed Tottenham, although Ange Postecoglou’s men do have two matches in hand.

And, after Thursday’s European results, fifth is not as sure of securing Champions League qualification next term as it previously appeared to be.

The loss continued an awful run for Everton, who have now picked up just five points from 11 games and with next week’s Merseyside derby called off because of Liverpool’s FA Cup commitments, Sean Dyche’s men could find themselves in the relegation zone during the international break.

Garnarcho shines

No matter how this season turns out for Manchester United, it will be notable as the one where Garnacho started to turn promise into effective performances.

The Argentine is still only 19 but he is fast becoming United’s most potent offensive threat.

There are times when he fails to make the right decision as when he somehow failed to fashion a shooting chance from a Scott McTominay through ball in the final minute of the opening period despite initially running clean through.

But his pace and balance unsettles defenders and in luring Tarkowski and Godfrey into rash first-half challenges, Garnacho ensured the home side went into the interval with a healthy lead, rather than finding themselves behind as could easily have been the case.

United were guilty of wasting further chances after the break, with Garnacho one of the culprits as he blazed over after sprinting clear into the penalty area.

Jordan Pickford had produced a superb early one-handed save to turn away a Fernandes free-kick and he needed to be alert to prevent Victor Lindelof stabbing home a third after a melee in the six-yard box.

Everton’s strife

Having suffered a six-point deduction for financial breaches already this season, the time is drawing near when Everton will have to defend themselves in a second hearing.

They can only hope some leniency is applied for the fact two of the periods in question were assessed in the first case as on this evidence, they will struggle to get out of trouble if they suffer a similar-sized sanction.

The fight they showed to drag themselves out of the bottom three when the initial 10-point punishment was handed down has diluted.

Five points from 11 games in the middle of the season is form that would land any team in bother and Everton lack the quality to create a belief substantive change can be achieved.

In the opening period at least, they had better chances than their hosts.

But Dwight McNeil, Jack Harrison and Amadou Onana both lacked composure when they had the goal at their mercy, meaning Onana’s only save was to deny United old-boy James Garner, whose shot was heading for the far corner.

Everton’s fortunes didn’t improve. At one point substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin rose to meet a header on the edge of the six-yard box, only to send it straight back across goal. Lewis Dobbin reacted and also tried to score, only to send the ball back across where it had come from, with Onana not called upon on either occasion.

It was comic book stuff but it is no laughing matter for Everton, who are in big trouble on the pitch, let alone off it.

Player of the match

GarnachoAlejandro Garnacho


Man Utd

Formation 4-2-4-0

  • 24Onana
  • 20Dalot
  • 35EvansSubstituted forKambwalaat 89′minutes
  • 19Varane
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 37MainooSubstituted forS Amrabatat 79′minutes
  • 18Casemiro
  • 17GarnachoSubstituted forAntonyat 83′minutes
  • 39McTominayBooked at 69mins
  • 8Bruno Fernandes
  • 10Rashford


  • 1Bayindir
  • 4S Amrabat
  • 14Eriksen
  • 16Diallo
  • 21Antony
  • 45Mee
  • 53Kambwala
  • 65Collyer
  • 75Ogunneye


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Pickford
  • 22Godfrey
  • 6Tarkowski
  • 32Branthwaite
  • 19MykolenkoSubstituted forRamalho Chermitiat 88′minutes
  • 11HarrisonSubstituted forDobbinat 61′minutes
  • 37GarnerSubstituted forYoungat 75′minutes
  • 8OnanaBooked at 27mins
  • 7McNeil
  • 16DoucouréBooked at 34minsSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 61′minutes
  • 14Gomes BetuncalSubstituted forCalvert-Lewinat 61′minutes


  • 2Patterson
  • 5Keane
  • 9Calvert-Lewin
  • 12Neves Virgínia
  • 18Young
  • 21André Gomes
  • 23Coleman
  • 28Ramalho Chermiti
  • 61Dobbin

Simon Hooper


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