Manchester United were able to secure a point in the perennially tricky trip to Goodison Park this morning. After an egregious early error by David de Gea, United were able to dominate the majority of the first half before a Bruno Fernandes strike leveled the score before half-time. A second half flurry of pressure from Everton saw us lucky to walk out with a point.
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 6
Picked a strong squad and showed us what the team might look like in a 4-4-2 diamond once Pogba gets back. The team look shaky in the first 10 minutes as Everton piled on the pressure and there is nothing Ole could do about De Gea’s error. Tactically outdone by Carlo Ancelotti at half-time and once again took too long to make subs and tactical adjustments.
GK: David de Gea – 5
Made an absolutely shocking error that gave Everton the lead in the first few minutes. Showed zero awareness and urgency on the ball and allowed Calvert-Lewin, who was exceptional, to block his clearance for a goal. To be fair, he did spend the rest of the game making up for his error and made several world class saves with his hands and feet. Seven errors leading to goals now since the start of last season and with Dean Henderson looking like a top keeper, he should be worried.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6
Did very little on the offensive end as most of the game he was hitting failed crosses or pinned back by Everton’s press. Made several good tackles as usual but failed to really get involved in the game. The entire right side of our attack struggled today.
RCB: Victor Lindelof – 4
Started over Bailly which is understandable considering the latter’s injury history but Lindelof looked nervous and shaky from the first whistle. Gave up tackles around the box and gave the ball away several times. At the moment there is a clear distinction in quality between our left and right sides and that starts with the playing out of the back by Lindelof v. Maguire.
LCB: Harry Maguire – 8
Didn’t get involved on the offensive end as much as the last 4-5 games but put in a true captain’s performance next to Lindelof. Read play very well and handled Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin’s attacks consistently. Won a ton of aerial duels and without him we most likely would have conceded via one of the many corners we gave up. His passing out of the back continues to be exceptional. He brings Luke Shaw, Bruno, etc. into play on the left side of the field and most of our danger comes from that flank.
LB: Luke Shaw – 7
One of our better players this morning. Never stopped running and pushing us forward to try and take the lead. Developing a nice relationship with Fred and Bruno on the left wing. Need to work on his finishing because he actually gets a surprising number of loose balls in and around the box.
CDM: Nemanja Matic – 9
Best player for United today by a stretch. Cleaned up a ton defensively (stopped Gomes from scoring), won headers and delivered countless perfectly measure balls to the wing (assisted Bruno) and through the middle. Hit the crossbar early and forced a second rebound causing save from Pickford soon after. Showing us once again how good Matic can be if he plays only once a week…
LCM: Scott Mctominay – 6
Definitely more of an industrious effort today than anything else from McTominay. Really struggled to stamp his influence on the game on the right side of midfield. Defended, put in tackles, played the simple game but in the first half when we were on it, he didn’t get involved; in the second we were pinned back and he had even less influence.
RCM: Fred – 7
Unlike McTominay, Fred was much more involved and is showing that he can play both sides of central midfield. I was a bit worried about him switching from right to left with the return of McTominay but he did not skip a beat. Forming a silky relationship with Shaw, Bruno and whoever plays in front of them on the left wing. Once again one of our better players and his turnaround the last few months is great to see.
CAM: Bruno Fernandes – 7
Seemed to me that Bruno was trying a bit too hard early on. Lost the ball even more than usual and his passes were just not coming off. Also had his pocket picked by Andre Gomes for a breakaway that was cut off by Matic. Turned it on after about 25-30 minutes and was able to level the score for us. Pickford perhaps should have done better but it was a tricky shot that bounced right in front of him and skipped past. Influential but not the MOTM performances we have been seeing. He has set his own bar high.
ST: Mason Greenwood – 5
Not his day. Was not very involved in the first half due to lack of midfield possession on his wing but made a very smart run into space that he almost headed in for a goal. Came out livelier in the second half but United were pinned back by the Everton press and then Mason was hauled off before being of any influence.
ST: Anthony Martial – 6
Like Mason Greenwood, Martial’s performance was one of more work ethic than quality. Made good runs and pressed hard with the team but did not create anything or involve himself in anything of note. Almost squared in a ball for the winner to Ighalo when he should have taken the shot on his weaker left foot.
SUB: Ighalo – 5
Was not much of an influence. Looks a bit slow and out of shape still.
SUB: Juan Mata – 5
Definitely not up to the pace of this game. Was ball chasing for most of the game and was not quick enough to really be involved in any of the United counter attacks.
SUB: Brandon Williams – 5
Came on too late to have any impact. On for Martial to create a back 5 and secure the point.