Poor performance. Everton came out on top in the early exchanges with a Mirallas drive testing David de Gea but Manchester United slowly got into the game and nearly took the lead when Wayne Rooney hit the post via a deflected shot just before the 30 minute mark. However, the first half ended as a stalemate.
The second half was just as open as the first but United’s attacking substitutes brought a better impetus from us going forward. Despite that, it was from a corner that United nearly scored when Howard made a great save and Welbeck headed the rebound onto the bar.
Up until the last ten minutes, United looked strong but then Everton hit back and eventually took the lead in the 85th minute after United didn’t clear their lines following a free-kick. After that, there was only going to be one winner.
Unbeaten run over.
Where was the urgency? With ten minutes left at 0-0 at Old Trafford, you expect United to put whoever we are playing under the kosh but that didn’t happen.
Everton were the dangerous side going forward and United didn’t have an answer especially after the goal went in. It knocked the stuffing out of the team.
Usually, when United concede a goal we normally take it up a gear. Tonight, we took it down a gear and limped to defeat.
What happened to the United that beat Arsenal 1-0 only a few weeks ago at Old Trafford?
What happened to the counter-attack? United against Leverkusen last week was a lesson in how to counter-attack ruthlessly and effectively but tonight was the complete opposite.
There were plenty of occasions where United broke out of defence but instead of flooding forward in numbers, United were isolated. The man on the ball often found he had little support around him.
Maybe it was Moyes’ tactical choice to stay solid for the first hour and then try to exploit some tired legs with pace going forward but whatever the choices, they didn’t work.
Positive substitutes showed the right attitude at least. For the first hour, United were not fluid going forward at all and played with a slow pace in attack but Nani and Januzaj changed that somewhat.
They may not have been able to change the outcome of the game but with them on the field, we looked far more dangerous in attack.
Tonight was not the result anybody was looking for but away at White Hart Lane and tonight against Everton, Moyes brought on positive, attacking substitutes which can only be seen as a positive.
We went for the game in the second half but just didn’t have the quality to win it.
Fellaini is improving. The Belgian was under real pressure to perform against his old club in the absence of Michael Carrick and Phil Jones. On a night where all eyes were on him, he certainly improved on his previous performances.
The 26-year-old played in his favoured defensive midfield role and thrived. He kept breaking up Everton’s play, won the ball high up the pitch a lot to make sure the pressure stayed on Everton. He also made the occasional drive forward but was let down by a pass most of the time which left him exposed.
A goal and three points would have capped a perfect game against his former club Everton but it wasn’t to be. That was his best performance but it is scant consolation on a night where United were very poor.