Baines penalty rescues undeserved point

By Michael Kenrick 04/12/2016  211 Comments  [Jump to last]
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A bizarre advance by Stekelenburg, well out of his area, allowed Ibrahimovic to lob over him and score
Everton 1 - 1 Manchester United

Barkley and Jagielka were dropped to the bench, with Funes Mori, Cleverley and Mirallas starting against Man Utd.

Ronald Koeman had an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, with the exception of long-term absentees Muhamed Besic and Matthew Pennington. Barkley and Jagielka were dropped to the bench and did not p[lay.

For the visitors, Luke Shaw was sidelined and Wayne Rooney was denied a Goodison return through suspension.

Man Utd kicked off but The Blues got possession without showing too much energy until Bolaise fired in a decent cross that led to a good corner put in well by Mirallas, defend out for a second effort, a superb delivery but no Blue shirt on the end of it.

Lukaku tried a through-ball from deep for Bolasie, straight to a Utd defender and turned over possession after a bright start. The Reds built their attack with equal lack of intensity, Pogba firing a loose ball well wide. They got behind the Blue line but Martial was offside.

Barry's passing was poor, two out of play, one to a defender, before Funes Mori strode forward and fired off a ridiculous shot, well high and wide. A poor challenge from Barry led to a stern lecture for him, as he was shown up for slow rections.

The football was pretty scrappy, which benefited Everton a little, but the poor passing was always going to limit them going forward, and would give the Reds time to build, with little pressing on show. Funes Mori cleared straight to a red shirt in the centre-circle and the ball came right back.

Rojo went in really hard on Gana, studs showing, a horrible tackle, but the Everton midfielder jumped up straight away. The Everton players surrounded Oliver but all he gave was yellow. Mirallas put in a good ball in but Williams headed it backwards for a lame volley from Coleman.

Man Utd won another corner taken by Martial, leading to head-tennis that was finally claimed by Stekelenburg. Lukaku dribbled well into the left channel and then passed straight to a defender.

Bolasie did a great dummy and scampered forward but Lukaku was behind the defender and could not reach the good-quality cross. A free-kick was swung in but again no-one could get to it.

Barry again gave the ball away in the centre, drawing more pressure that fortunately came to nothing. Everton tired the direct approach, a hoofball overhit to De Gea.

Lukaku got forward and played in Bolasie whose cross/shot was poor — too far ahead of Mirallas coming in at the far post. Pogba tried to drive through Barry and fouled him. More hoofballs were overhit as this simplistic approach to building attacks was producing little.

Funes Mori blocked Mkhitaryan, giving away a dangerous free-kick in the dee: Ibrahimovic powered it straight into the Everton wall. More formless play from both sides saw plenty of lofted lottery balls. Barry finally saw yellow for a nothing foul — accumulation.

Darmian fouled Lukaku, for Mirallas to curl in another free kick, off Funes Mori, but Barry had strayed offside. Another attempt to release Lukaku with a lofted ball forward failed, despite the big man winning the ball in the air. Baines was next with another poor forward ball. Funes Mori was across sharply to nick the ball off Mkhitaryan, saving us from surely the first shot on goal.

Man Utd were using the same tactics with the forward lofted ball, with the same level of quality and success as the home side; really poor quality from two side battling for 6th place in the world-renown Premier League. But no pressing in midfield by Everton as Man Utd had better ground-ball play that petered out to nothing.

But the lofted ball forward finally worked for Man Utd, Ibrahimovic with a brilliant lob over Stekelenburg who was way out of his area, the ball bouncing up onto the bar, down onto the goalline, hitting the post and just crossing the line before Funes Mori, who had crucially dawddled watching it, finally scooped it away, a fraction too late, as shown by the goalline technology. The first shot on goal scores, and Everton behind.

Bolasie beat his man and crossed well enough but Lukaku was again behind the defender with no chance of getting the ball, summing up another poor (a fine distinction from 'abysmal') half from the Blues, still to produce anything worthy of the words 'attack on goal'.

No changes from the Dour Dutchman, with Everton hoofing forward from the kick-off and Lukaku losing possession. Bolasie and Lukaku tried to pass the ball into the Man Utd area but Lukaku ended up passing it behind by the corner flag.

Funes Mori played a through-ball to no-one except De Gea. The next attempt at a forward ball to Lukaku brought audible groans from the faithful.

Coleman did well to beat Ibrahimovic but then turned back into the big striker and collapsed in a heap beneath his full weight. Another ridiculous lofted ball by Williams straight out of play by the corner flag.

Barry and Lukaku suddenly combined, Mirallas powering in and shooting but De Gea instinctively stuck out a foot to deny him.

Everton with the ball at the back and Funes Mori, a dreadful mistake gaves it away to Ibrahimovic. A passage of intense pressure resulted, with calls for a penalty off Baines, slidding to defend a ball on the ground. More pressure from the corner, then Cleverley fouling to give away a dangerous free-kick but it was defended well enough.

The impetus, however, was clearly with the visitors, despite Mirallas's excellent attempt. Gueye tried to release Lukaku but the ball as miles away from him. Cleverley could not dig the ball out and Man Utd swept forward, with a series of crazy plays in the Everton area, Mkhitaryan lashing it against the crossbar, but Everton broke away and Bolasie crossed well beyond the far post.

The hour mark, and Deulofeu was readied to come on but Bolasie was barged off the ball and writhed in agony after falling awkwardly on his right knee. Cleverley was withdrawn but Coleman was struggling as Pogba headed over. Holgate replaced Coleman, then Bolaise sat down and he was replaced by Valencia.

Valencia at least showed some effort but was tackled firmly. Deulofeu was bamboozled by Pogba, while Williams played the ball from the centre, back to Stekelenburg with nothing happening in front of him.

Some better forward play ensued around the Utd area but led to nothing. Another lofted ball to Lukaku evaded him. Baines could not cross past Mkhitaryan. Koeman finally stood up and moved around, probably in an attempt to keep warm.

Better forward play along the ground saw Gueye fire a hard shot but straight at De Gea, and that roused the frustrated Goodison crowd, Darmian fouling Deulofeu despite touching the ball. Deulofeu delivered an excellent ball headed toward the top corner and tipped behind by De Gea.

Everton were finally trying to make a game of it with barely 15 minutes remaining. But the structure of the play was lacking and it failed to penetrate the Man Utd defence.

Holgate put in an excellent first-time cross off Deulofeu but Valencia headed straight at De Gea's feet. Deulofeu tried to create something but there was little movement in front of him.

Deulofeu tried to beat his man but was fuming that the decision was a goalkick. The Blues kept applying some pressure and then Fellaini sent Gueye flying ... Penalty! Leighton Baines fired in coolly from the spot to save Everton from their first defeat at Goodison park this season.

A tremendous atmosphere now as Everton finally showed some initiative. Great shot by Baines, lashed in and parried out by De Gea for a corner.

Holgate did superbly at the other end to deny Herrera's cross as the 5 minutes of added time ticked away. The pressure was more persuasive from United, however, as the Blues surge seemed to have faded. But Fellaini got a great cheer when he needlessly played the ball out.

Deulofeu was at the heart of a good break but his cross was too close to De Gea and the ball went straight back to the Everton area, Oliver blowing the final whistle to end the contest, with Everton miraculously still unbeaten at Goodison park but with only one win in 10 games.

Everton: Stekelenburg, Baines, Funes Mori, Williams, Coleman (67' Holgate), Cleverley (65' Deulofeu), Barry [Y:32'], Gana, Bolasie (68' E Valencia), Mirallas, Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barkley.

Manchester United: De Gea [Y:88'], A Valencia, Jones, Rojo [Y:16'], Darmian, Pogba, Herrera, Carrick, Mkhitaryan (85' Fellaini [Y:88']), Martial (83' Rashford), Ibrahimovic.
Subs: Romero, Bailly, Blind,, Lingard, Mata.

Kick-off: 4pm, Sunday 4 December 2016
Referee: Michael Oliver


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