In today’s match, Manchester United FC lost 3-0 against Everton FC. This was the second straight loss for Louis Van Gaal’s team after their decisive match against Chelsea on April 18. Manchester United’s hopes of a top-three finish looked shaky after today’s loss at Goodison Park, Everton’s home.
Manchester United fell into a slump and their manager, Van Gaal agrees. He called the team “complacent” and said that it was the most disappointing performance since he took over. He said he had been worried about the match from the outset when he saw his players warming up. “That was the first time that I found the opponent more aggressive and motivated than us,” said Van Gaal according to the Premier League website.
The team had already been riddled with injuries and Wayne Rooney’s knee injury today further disappointed fans. The striker collided with midfielder David Blind when two minutes were left in the match and had to hobble off the field. Post match he was seen with an ice-pack and news indicates that Rooney’s injury is being assessed, but he might be out of commission for several matches if it is too severe. Marouane Fellaini who plays as a midfielder was also replaced at half-time but not before he got a yellow card. Van Gaal explained that his decision to substitute Fellaini came after he saw that Everton players were provoking him. Both Rooney and Fellaini are former Evertonians.
Everton, on the other hand was at the top of their form today as they won their fifth game. They defended deep and tried to hit Manchester United on the counterattack. They had possession of the ball for only 35 percent of the game, but had seven shots on target. Team manager, Roberto Martinez gave the players credit and said that they played fantastically today against a strong opponent. “In every department, we were very, very good,” he told the Premier League website. He also mentioned the team’s track record and said that they only needed to get momentum before they started winning games.
The first goal of the match came in the fifth minute when Everton midfielder James McCarthy, collected the loose ball and scored beyond David de Gea, Manchester United’s goalkeeper. Manchester United conceded another goal 35 minutes into the match when defender John Stones headed the ball into the goal. The last goal came in the 74th minute of the match when Everton substitute Kevin Mirallas, raced past Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia and scored a goal. Both De Gea and Valencia were appealing for an offside and were totally unprepared for the goal which clinched the match. McCarthy was also given the man of the match.
Manchester United is currently fourth in the league with 65 points, but they need to win their next match against West Brom. If they do not, then Liverpool, the fifth placed team, might get ahead of them. Also, only the top four teams in the table get an automatic pass for next year’s Champions League. Everton, with today’s victory moved into the first half of the table and are playing Aston Villa next.
By Anugya Chitransh
Photo by Anthony Beal – Creativecommons Flickr License