Everton’s emphatic 4-0 win over Manchester United moves Marco Silva’s side to seventh as they dented the Red Devil’s dreams of Champions League qualification.
The Toffees took the lead as they made use of Lucas Digne’s long throw. It was flicked on by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s head and was met with a superb overhead kick from Richarlison.
Manchester United looked dejected after their midweek efforts in Barcelona and paid the price after they stood off Gylfi Sigurdsson who finished Everton’s counterattack with a fantastic finish into the bottom corner from 30 yards out.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team did not respond to his half time team talk as his team were facing a fifth away defeat in a row. They failed to put a shot on target in the first half and it was the Toffees who extended their lead ten minutes into the second.
Lucas Digne volleyed an effort into the bottom corner after David De Gea chose to punch a corner out of his goalmouth.
With the Goodison crowd at their loudest, their team didn’t look like stopping as Theo Walcott ran through a defence split open by a Sigurdsson pass and calmly finished in front of the Gladys Road end.
The win puts Everton into seventh as they recovered well from their loss to Fulham last weekend.
Everton shine as United falter
Manchester United now sit two points behind both Chelsea and Arsenal and have it all to do with three more games to go. With Manchester City to play, they have a tough run-in to the end of the season, and must now rely on other teams above them to slip up.
Perhaps after a long winning run and a fine Champions League campaign, Solskjær’s men have run out of steam. After losing 3-0 to Barcelona, surely United will have wanted to put on a strong display in an attempt to bounce back.
However, it was Everton who got the result they wanted as they handed United an embarrassing loss to move into seventh, coming into a decent spell of form at the right time of the season.
A Europa League qualification would be significant for boss Marco Silva who has not had the easiest first season in charge at Everton, but his team’s performances of late have earned him the support of the fans.
Everton’s success against the top six
Silva’s side had failed to pick up a win against any of the top six until last month. Since beating Chelsea in March they have handed Arsenal and United losses as they all bid for the last Champions League spot.
These wins will give the squad and fans a huge boost of confidence going into next season as they are showing they can compete with the Premier League’s elite.
With those wins, they will feel they can beat anyone and with Spurs to play on the final day, they may ruin their Champions League plans as they only sit three points ahead of United.
Transfers imminent for United
With Jose Mourinho being sacked in December, Solskjær chose not to sign anyone in January. However, there are clearly positions in the squad that need filling or need adding to.
With Ashley Young passed his best and an injury prone defence, the Norwegian manager certainly needs to make signings. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as a centre-back pairing is a combination that fails to work most times and they have were exposed once again today as they failed to handle a young and energetic Everton attack.
Their midfield is also in need of a few signings. Nemanja Matic looked slow and out of place on the pitch and an ineffective Fred was substituted at half time. A powerhouse defensive midfielder is definitely needed. Somebody similar to Everton’s Idrissa Gueye who does the dirty work that is so often unsung in a good midfield.
Attitude problems at United
Everton were the aggressors in the game and were first to everything. They deserved the win without a doubt.
What will be a concern for the United fans is the lack of fight that they showed. Their midfield were jogging after counterattacks, their attack only managed one shot on target and the four goals says everything you need to know about a poor defensive display.
Players need to be addressed and told how to play the Manchester United way and always put up a tough game and a 4-0 loss to Everton should be a reality check for the United dressing room.
Man of the Match – Lucas Digne
The Frenchman has been fantastic this season and before he came off injured he played exceptionally well. A throw-in that led to a goal, an attacking display that put Victor Lindelof on the back foot all game and a fantastic finish meant that he stood out just a little bit more than the other players on the pitch.