Manchester U 1 Everton 0
Manchester United 1 Everton 0, Old Trafford, English Premier League, April 23, 2011. Manchester United dominated for most of the game against Everton, but the home fans had to wait until the 84th minute for the breakthrough when Chicharito scored with a header.
After a disappointing goalless draw against Newcastle United at St James´ Park in their previous Premier League fixture, Manchester United locked horns with Everton at Old Trafford. Although Everton had managed to overcome Blackburn Rovers by 2-0 at Goodison Park in their last Premiership encounter thanks to goals from Leon Osman and Leighton Baines, United were strong favourites to defeat The Toffees who had not won at Old Trafford since beating The Reds 3-0 on the 19th of August 1992 through a goal each from Peter Beardsley, Robert Warzycha, and Mo Johnston. Manchester United were missing midfielder Paul Scholes because of suspension, while forward Dimitar Berbatov and midfielders Owen Hargreaves and Darren Fletcher were all out with different injuries. The Evertonians, on the other hand, had to make do without the playing services of defender John Heitinga, midfielders Mikel Arteta and Marouane Fellaini, and forward Louis Saha who were all sidelined with various injury problems, but midfielder Tim Cahill was back in action for the club.
On a sunny Saturday in Manchester, Javier Hernandez grabbed a late winner to keep Manchester United six points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 1-0 victory over Everton. The Mexican added to his tally in the 84th minute when Antonio Valencia powered down his way the flank and crossed the ball to the twenty-two-year-old striker who produced an excellent finish. The first chance on goal fell to Luis Nani in the thirteenth minute of the contest, but his effort was superbly saved by former Manchester United shot stopper Tim Howard. Hernandez then had a good goal scoring opportunity in the 25th minute of action, but the marksman was denied by another excellent save by Howard. The greatest scoring chance of the first half arrived shortly before the interval, though, when Valencia found Nani who would surely have scored had the ball not hit Hernandez. David Moyes replaced Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Jermaine Beckford with Victor Anichebe and Tim Cahill at the half-time break, while Sir Alex Ferguson brought Patrice Evra, Michael Owen, and Ryan Giggs on for John O’Shea, Luis Nani, and Darron Gibson during the second period. Manchester United kept up the attacking pressure as the half proceeded and it came as no surprise to anyone when Ferguson´s title contenders finally went into the lead after 84 minutes as Hernandez rose to head home an extraordinary back post cross from Valencia. The Merseysiders threw everything they had at Manchester United during the closing stages of the game, but the red shirted players held on to win the tussle by the narrowest of margins. Following the home victory over The Blues, United now had 73 points from 34 matches played.
Speaking after the triumph over The Toffeemen, Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for his Manchester United team, and in particular Javier Hernandez. Sir Alex Ferguson: “We thought that it would take a year for Javier Hernandez to get properly settled, but he has adapted to English football very quickly. Hernandez is in for training every day at nine o’clock in the morning and he is the last to leave. This boy is truly dedicated.” Manchester United Team: Edwin van der Sar, Jonathan Evans, John O’Shea, Fabio da Silva, Antonio Valencia, Rio Ferdinand, Oliveira Anderson, Darron Gibson, Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, Luis Nani. Substitutes: Wesley Brown, Rafael da Silva, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen, Tomasz Kuszczak. Everton Team: Tim Howard, Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman, Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville, Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Jermaine Beckford. Substitutes: Shkodran Mustafi, Shane Duffy, Magaye Gueye, Tim Cahill, Victor Anichebe, Apostolos Vellios, Jan Mucha.
Javier Hernandez Quickfacts
Javier “Chicharito” Hermandez netted his first Premier League goal for Manchester United in a 2–2 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on the 16th of October 2011, and hit his first brace for the club in a 2–1 Premiership victory over Stoke City at Britannia Stadium the following weekend.