Manchester United 1-0 Everton: Anthony Martial strike keeps United in top-four race

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United have secured a 1-0 win over Everton this evening thanks to Anthony Martial’s second half strike.

Martial came close with a deflected effort early on but it fizzed just past the post. Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, was a constant thorn in Everton’s side. However, a lack of conviction from both sides meant they went in at the break goalless.

The discontent inside Old Trafford was mounting as United continued to labour in the second half but Martial soothed the atmosphere among fans by scoring following excellent work by substitute Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Everton came close to a swift reply, but Phil Jagielka’s header hit the crossbar. De Gea then denied Jagielka late on, meaning United closed out the three points.

Martial

Marcos Rojo

Rojo struggled to contain Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu at Old Trafford and his poor positioning was often capitalised on by the opposition.

The Argentine has been criticised in the media for some off-field antics in recent weeks and it looked like the scrutiny had affected him. It was no surprise to see him replaced by Fosu-Mensah at half-time.

Daley Blind

Wayne Rooney praised Blind’s reading of the game this week and it was a skill that the Dutchman used on a number of occasions at Old Trafford to shut down Everton’s attacks.

In what has been a tumultuous season for United, Blind has generally been a reliable and consistent performer and he deserves huge credit for the way he has gone about his task. However, he had to go off early due to injury and the hope is that he isn’t out for too long.

Matteo Darmian

Anthony Martial

Martial looked by far United’s most dangerous player yet again and it was always going to be him to break the deadlock in what was, until the strike, a largely uneventful game.

Waste of money? No chance. If anything, the initial £36m that United paid for him in the summer is looking like a snip.

Marcus Rashford

The 18-year-old picked up where he left off against Manchester City last time out, with his movement and work on the ball causing plenty of problems for Everton.

His backheel layoff to Fosu-Mensah in the second half eventually proved to be crucial as the Dutchman crossed for Martial to finish. Another superb afternoon’s work for Rashford.

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