Everton suffer another heavy resounding defeat, losing 4-0 at Old Trafford.
Everton recovered some pride despite going down at Old Trafford thanks to a stunning strike from Valencia and three late strikes that gave a one-sided scoreline to a game that had been anything but that.
After a good start to the season, Jose Mourinho picked a strong, offensive looking 4-2 3-1 line-up: De Gea, Valencia (c), Bailly, Jones, Young, Fellaini, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford and Lukaku.
Desperate to get something from the game and his team to find some semblance of form and pride, Ronald Koeman made changes to the side that flopped so disappointingly against Atalanta in selecting a 3-4-3 formation: Pickford, Baines, Williams, Jagielka (c), Keane, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gana Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, and Rooney.
Andre Marriner was entrusted with the referee role.
Bright autumn sunshine welcomed the teams onto the pitch but it was quickly replaced by typical Mancunian rain and more misery for the Blues as they sank deep into the box allowing a Matic pass to sit up nicely for Valencia to volley emphatically and spectacularly past Pickford from 22 yards with just three minutes on the clock.
A goal to the good in no time at all, United settled very easily, dominating the early proceedings both in terms of possession and territorially with only a right wing cross from Martina and free kick from Sigurdsson that both came to nothing to show from the opening quarter of an hour.
Everton’s first real chance of the first half came when Rooney released Martina down the right flank to race into the box for the return ball, but he was unable to get the shot on target to test De Gea.
Everton had calmed down and whilst not causing the home side too many problems, they were back in the game until a dreadful pass from Keane was intercepted by Mata. He immediately fed Lukaku who got past Williams and incredibly (hilariously) missed the target from 12 yards with most of the home crowd putting their next mortgage payment on two-nil.
Tom Davies was unlucky with a header that De Gea could only parry, only for the offside flag to have been raised as Martina sent in another good cross.
Excellent work by Pickford first to deny Rashford and then pick himself up to clear calmly got Everton moving forward again as they enjoyed some better possession, but they had to be watchful at the back for the pace of Mkhitaryan with Williams making a fine tackle. Rashford then tried to feed Lukaku and it was Jagielka back to deny the Belgian at the expense of a corner.
United pushed forward strongly in the closing minutes of the first half and Pickford was glad to recover a little fumble after he’d called for the ball as Jagielka and Lukaku converged on a dinked pass from Mata.
Despite the early setback of the stunning strike from Valencia, Everton had recovered and acquitted themselves quite well, but they would need to find something else up front if they were to get anything from the second half.
Half Time: 1-0
No changes for either side at half time and Everton should have been level right from the restart as Davies and Rooney combined down the right with the former United man denied by De Gea with his legs.
The aggression of Davies worked another half chance for Rooney, but Bailly was quick to deny him a shot, but the early signs were encouraging for the Blues and the vociferous fans urging them on.
Rashford put a cross shot well wide and then Lukaku fluffed another chance as he chested down a cross from Young for Jagielka to clear.
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
As the hour mark approached, United brought on Lingard for Rashford to try and inject more pace into the game that Everton were now beginning to dominate. And again, De Gea was called on to preserve the lead as Jones made a mess of a header and the Spaniard denied Sigurdsson at close range.
A dreadful clearance by Pickford found Mata and it took a yellow card challenge on the edge of the box from Williams to save the goalies blushes. Mata saw the free kick cannon back off the post and put behind for a corner.
Sandro Ramirez replaced Tom Davies on 65 minutes to try and add a focal point to the attack for the final 25 minutes.
Schneiderlin allowed Young to get past him and put the cross on a plate for Lingard, but under pressure from Williams, he skied the effort into the stands.
Rooney to Baines and onto Ramirez but the shot was blocked and on the quick counter attack, Williams got a telling deflection to the shot from Lingard. Matic fired wide from 30yards as both teams prepared further changes… DCL duly replacing Gana Gueye and Mata giving way to Herrera for the final 15 minutes.
The referee ignored United appeals for a penalty as Lingard went down in the box but there was precious little from Williams, good call Mr.Marriner.
Kevin Mirallas appeared for the final eight minutes at the expense of Wayne Rooney, in the wake of Bailly being booked for scything down DCL.
A giveaway by Williams – to spoil an otherwise decent showing – was latched onto by Lukaku and he unselfishly fed Mkhitaryan to slide home the killer second goal on 83 minutes.
Martial replaced Mhkitaryan for the final couple of minutes ahead of a later free kick from Lukaku only being half cleared and he got onto the end of the follow up cross with Baines ball watching to net the third… and in a typical lack of class from the self-centred Belgian, he wheeled away to celebrate the goal and mock the Everton fans.
De Gea produced a superb full length save to deny Ramirez a consolation marker and when United got the ball forward, the ref was given little choice than to award a penalty to United after a hand ball by Schneiderlin, Martial netting to leave Everton deflated and undeserving of such a one-sided score line.
Full Time: 4-0
Ronald Koeman summed up his disappointment at the outcome saying, “Sometimes in football, you get more than you deserve and today, we got more than we deserved. We made a big mistake at one nil by Ashley Williams and after that it was over. Okay, there was the free kick and the penalty, but what I saw from the team today makes me happy, more happy than last Thursday”.
“We had the difficult start, one nil down but we grew into the game, grew in confidence and not too any teams will get two one on one chances against De Gea. But we didn’t score and then the personal mistake and it’s two nil”.
Asked about being more ambitious in the first half, he responded, “It’s not ambition, it’s confidence. Confidence of the players confidence of the team. I try to shelter them and get the fullbacks to take a higher position. That’s something in the head of the players after a tough period and as manager you try to help them, to support them, but once the whistle goes, it’s all about yourself and your team mates”.
“We started too afraid, we dropped back too much, we didn’t press. After that we did press onto the two midfielders of Man United. It’s difficult when you’ve lost four nil, maybe it’s better to keep your mouth shut, but we did not deserve this result”.