Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

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National media respond to Manchester United 3-3 Everton

5 min read

Manchester United were held to a draw as Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck deep into injury-time to earn Everton a last-gasp point at Old Trafford last night.

United looked set to hold on for a 3-2 win before Calvert-Lewin latched onto Michael Keane’s flick on from a free-kick to beat David De Gea in the 94th minute to make it 3-3.

The hosts had earlier enjoyed a near-perfect first half as Edinson Cavani headed in Marcus Rashford’s pin-point cross and Bruno Fernandes whipped in a brilliant second from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 at the break.

But Everton fought back, with Abdoulaye Doucoure tapping in after De Gea parried Calvert-Lewin’s cross into his path and James Rodriguez fired into the bottom corner to level things.

Scott McTominay flicked in Luke Shaw’s free-kick to give United the lead once more, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side weren’t able to hold on as they missed the chance to go level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Here is what the national media made of the match.

‘Reminiscent of 2012’s costly draw’ – Simon Stone, BBC Sport

Given the poignancy of the day, it was fitting one of the four academy graduates in the United line-up should play a significant role in the opener.

Marcus Rashford has represented the Old Trafford club in the best way possible off the field during lockdown but it should never be forgotten what an excellent player the 23-year-old forward is.

His cross, from the right side of the box to the far post, dropped perfectly over Michael Keane for Cavani, who had used all his game intelligence to give himself the space required to finish.

Fernandes’ superb second brought back memories of Eric Cantona’s audacious chip against Sunderland in 1996 – the Portugal midfielder taking his time, after Tom Davies had misread his intentions, before lifting the ball over Robin Olsen from the edge of the area, even though the Everton keeper was only a couple of yards off his line.

From his seat in the directors’ box, Sir Alex Ferguson must have been impressed. And the character United showed to respond to Everton’s fightback after the break would no doubt have pleased their former manager too, although questions will be asked of Olsen, who failed to keep out McTominay’s header from Luke Shaw’s deep free-kick.

Sadly for Ferguson, the ending was reminiscent of a 4-4 draw between these two teams at this ground in 2012 – a costly result as they were pipped to the title by City on goal difference.

‘De Gea’s time has gone’ – Oliver Holt, Daily Mail

After Manchester United stuck nine unanswered goals past Southampton at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, Carlo Ancelotti said he hoped they had used up their full quota before they met his Everton team. His hopes were in vain but it did not mean he and his team were damned. Because if United had not forgotten how to score goals, they had forgotten how not to concede them.

United scored three more on Saturday night to go with the hatful they hammered past the Saints but they threw victory away twice, allowing Everton to score two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second half to level the scores once and then conceding a last-gasp equaliser to Dominic Calvert-Lewin deep into added time at the end of the match.

The 3-3 draw meant that United failed to keep the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the table as Pep Guardiola’s side prepare for their showdown with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. This draw was definitely two points lost for United, not a point gained. It means City are two points clear at the top with two games in hand. The momentum, once again, has been sucked from United’s sails.

Some of the blame for their failure to close out victory against Ancelotti and his team has to be levelled at David de Gea, who should have done better with both Everton’s first and third goals.

There was a time when De Gea was regularly his team’s saviour and best player. That time has gone. His place, surely, must be under serious threat from Dean Henderson.

‘Greenwood a major plus’ – Jamie Jackson, The Guardian

A topsy-turvy contest ended with spoils shared, Manchester United appearing to have won it before Everton’s dramatic late equaliser. Dominic Calvert-Lewin bundled home to make it 3-3 in injury time, United having been 2-0 up at the interval. It means Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side drop two points and if leaders Manchester City can win at Liverpool on Sunday they will be five ahead with a game in hand.

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Manchester United smashed nine goals past Southampton on Tuesday night as they bounced back from disappointing results against Sheffield United and Arsenal in emphatic fashion.

The game was effectively over as a contest inside the first two minutes as Southampton were reduced to 10 men, but United still had to find the goals and they did exactly that, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial (two), Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James all getting on the scoresheet.

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Once more United’s defence was to blame; all three Everton goals could have been avoided. The visitors’ late strike crystallised what is a deep-lying fault line in the rearguard. Lucas Digne’s free-kick was not dealt with by the hapless David de Gea or the equally guilty Harry Maguire, who as captain should have taken responsibility. Instead the ball was allowed to go to Calvert-Lewin and he scored.

Mason Greenwood was a major plus for United. The teenager has struggled to emulate last season’s post-lockdown form but the way the forward performed throughout impressed. One run along the right that had him skating through the Everton rearguard, before letting fly, impressed. This was wide yet United were soon ahead with an accomplished strike: Bruno Fernandes fed Rashford on the right and, spying Edinson Cavani’s clever movement, landed a cross on the striker’s head. He did not miss.

If the Uruguayan’s arrival on a free transfer is the bargain of the season, his finish had his team in cruise control. Either they tapped the ball about with Greenwood, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to the fore or they hemmed Everton in, squeezing the ball and spirit from them.

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