Manchester U 2 Everton 1

Radamel Falcao

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Ever­ton 1, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Oct­ober 5, 2014. Man­chester Uni­ted ma­naged to se­cure their third Pre­mier Lea­gue vic­tory of the 2014-15 cam­paign wi­th a 2-1 win over Ever­ton at ho­me. New boys An­gel Di Mar­ia and Ra­damel Fal­cao hit a goal each for Uni­ted, whi­le ex-Ran­gers ace Ste­ven Na­i­s­mith net­ted for The Toffees.

In their six open­ing fix­tures of the 2014–15 Pre­mier Lea­gue sea­son, Man­chester Uni­ted had de­feated Queens Park Ran­gers and West Ham Uni­ted, drawn wi­th Sun­der­land and Burn­ley, and lost ag­ainst Swansea City and Lei­cester City. The Mer­sey­siders, for their part, had over­come West Brom­wich Al­bion, drawn ag­ainst Lei­cester City, Ar­senal, and Liver­pool, and be­en beaten by Chel­sea and Crys­tal Pal­ace. As for in­jury prob­lems ahead of the Sunday clash, Man­chester Uni­ted de­fenders Jon­ny Evans, Phil Jones, and Chris Small­ing con­tin­ued to oc­cupy the side­lines, where­as The Ever­to­ni­ans had to cope with­out the play­ing ser­vices of de­fender Seamus Cole­man and mid­field­ers Ross Barkley, Ja­mes Mc­Carthy, and Kev­in Mir­al­las. In the cor­res­pond­ing meet­ing of the 2012-13 cam­paign, Man­chester Uni­ted, who were then ma­naged by pre­vi­ous Good­ison Park su­premo Da­vid Moyes, had suc­cumbed to a rather dis­ap­point­ing 1-0 de­feat ag­ainst Rob­erto Martinez´s Ever­ton te­am at Old Traf­ford, but The Reds were still re­garded as fa­vour­ites to over­come The Liver­pool Blues.

At Theatre of Dreams, Da­vid de Gea be­came the fir­st goal­keeper to stop a pen­alty from Ever­ton and Eng­land de­fender Leigh­ton Baines in the Pre­mier Lea­gue when the twenty-four-year-old shot stop­per saved his spot-kick shortly be­fore the ha­lf-time re­fresh­ments. The Span­ish in­ter­na­tion­al was equally good in the sec­ond ha­lf and kept out sev­er­al ef­forts from the vis­it­ing te­am dur­ing the clos­ing sta­ges of the en­counter. The Mer­sey­siders had their mo­ments dur­ing the mat­ch, but it was Man­chester Uni­ted who emer­ged vic­tori­ous fol­low­ing a fully de­served 2-1 vic­tory. An­gel Di Mar­ia, who was once ag­ain in a class of his own, opened the scor­ing ac­count for the hosts as the ag­gress­ive and at­tack minded play­maker re­ceived the ball from fel­low mid­field man Ju­an Ma­ta and ham­mered it ho­me from the edge of the area mid­way thro­ugh the fir­st pe­riod. Shortly be­fore the ha­lf-time whistle, how­ever, Uni­ted de­fender Lu­ke Shaw tackled Everton´s To­ny Hi­b­bert in­side the box and ref­er­ee Kev­in Friend, wi­th his vis­ion clearly clouded by catar­acts, awar­ded a pen­alty to the Liv­er­pudli­ans, but Baines´s ef­fort from the spot was su­perbly saved by De Gea. Baines re­deemed him­self, tho­ugh, by provid­ing a per­fect cross to Ste­ven Na­i­s­mith who nod­ded in an equal­ising goal for the vis­it­ors ten min­utes af­ter the re­sump­tion. The Man­chester Uni­ted play­ers rolled up their sleeves and ma­naged to re­store their ad­vant­age when a cross-shot from the om­ni­present Di Mar­ia fou­nd its way to Ra­damel Fal­cao who put the ball pa­st Ever­ton cus­todi­an Tim How­ard and in­to the back of the net two min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk. Bo­th of the te­ams had their op­por­tun­it­ies to score dur­ing the lat­ter sta­ges of the ga­me, but no more goals were seen at Old Traf­ford. A loanee from Monaco, Fal­cao pro­ceeded to notch up four Pre­miership goals in twenty-six ap­pear­ances for Man­chester Uni­ted dur­ing the 2014–15 sea­son be­fore the Santa Marta born for­ward sig­ned a loan del wi­th Ro­man Abramovich´s Chel­sea in the sum­mer of 2015. Af­ter hit­ting on­ly one goal in ten Pre­mier Lea­gue mat­ches for The Pen­sion­ers, the frus­trated So­uth Amer­ic­an would ev­entually re­turn to The Red and Whi­tes the fol­low­ing year.

The nar­row ho­me win over Ever­ton meant that Man­chester Uni­ted mo­ved three places up to fourth po­s­i­tion in the Pre­miership stand­ings. Chel­sea were now top­ping the Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble wi­th nine­teen points from sev­en mat­ches, five points ahead of sec­ond pla­ced Man­chester City, and six in front of South­ampton in third spot. In the af­ter­math of the fix­ture ag­ainst The Tof­fees, re­cently ap­poin­ted head coach Louis van Gaal told the me­dia that he was well pleased wi­th his te­am and he par­tic­u­larly sing­led out the goal­keep­ing per­form­ance of Da­vid de Gea. Louis van Gaal: “Da­vid de Gea made three mag­ni­fi­cent saves and Man­chester Uni­ted won be­cause of that. He stopped a pen­alty at the end of the fir­st ha­lf, and he did very well dur­ing the fi­nal fif­teen min­utes.” Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Mar­cos Rojo, Lu­ke Shaw, Ra­fael da Silva, Pad­dy McNair, Ju­an Ma­ta, An­gel Di Mar­ia, Da­ley Bli­nd, An­tonio Va­lencia, Ra­damel Fal­cao, Robin van Per­sie. Sub­stitutes: Tyler Black­ett, Tom Thorpe, Mar­ou­ane Fel­laini, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ad­nan Januzaj, Ja­mes Ant­ony Wil­son, An­ders Linde­gaard. Ever­ton Te­am: Tim How­ard, John Stones, Leigh­ton Baines, Gar­eth Bar­ry, To­ny Hi­b­bert, Phil Ja­gielka, Ste­ven Pien­aar, Muhamed Be­s­ic, Aiden McGeady, Ste­ven Na­i­s­mith, Ro­melu Lu­kaku. Sub­stitutes: Dar­ron Gib­son, Le­on Os­man, Bry­an Oviedo, Ant­olin Al­caraz, Tyi­as Brown­ing, Samuel Eto’o, Joel Robles.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted fin­ished the 2014-15 sea­son in fourth po­s­i­tion wi­th twenty wins, ten draws, and eight losses, as much as fif­teen points adrift of Pre­miership Cham­pi­ons Man­chester City.


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