Manchester United - United 1 Everton 0
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United 1 Everton 0

A solitary goal from Javier Hernandez, his 12th in the Premier League this season, was enough to give Manchester united three more valuable points.

With the games coming thick and fast Sir Alex Ferguson shuffled his pack for the visit of Everton to Old Trafford. Mindful of a Champions League semi-final against Schalke 04, in midweek, there was a slightly unfamiliar look to the team with the eighteen looking as below:-

Team - Van der Sar, O`Shea, Ferdinand, Evans, Fabio, Valencia, Gibson, Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Hernandez

Subs - Kuszczak, Evra, Brown, Owen, Giggs, Carrick, Rafael

All in all, a total of five changes with Fabio, Gibson, Evans, Valencia and Ferdinand returning to the starting eleven.

With Sir Alex back in the dug-out after serving his touch-line ban it was United that got the game underway on a sunny afternoon. The opening exchanges were little to write home about with the first chance coming after Rooney saw his shot, following a free kick, deflected for a corner.

Everton responded with Van der Sar being called upon to save a low shot from Osman before a free kick from Baines was easily dealt with. As the fifteen minute mark approached United started to increase the pressure. Nani saw a shot well saved by Howard after an assist from Rooney whilst two more corners were forced without ay reward.

O`Shea then dragged a shot wide form a decent position whilst Howard was forced to save a fierce effort, from an acute angle, from Hernandez. Gibson, trying his luck from a long way out, shot well wide before, with thirty-one minutes on the clock, Howard produced a great save to deny Hernandez after a great pass form Rooney.

Two further corners were won but once again the visitors defence coped well. As the half started to edge towards its conclusion United could have scored when a shot from Nnai looked goal-bound, following a ball in from Valencia, only for it to hit a stricken Hernandez some six yards out and go wide.

Half Time - United 0 Everton 0

Everton made two changes at half time bringing on Anichebe and Cahill for the disappointing Beckford and Bilyaletdinov and Everton started the half well but without producing any decent end product. Eight minutes into the half, United produced their first decent move of the half when Anderson, Hernandez and Rooney combined only for Jagielka to produce a great saving tackle.

Down the other end Anichebe, after a powerful run, tumbled over in the area after tangling with Ferdinand but Peter Walton waved play on. Sir Alex made a change, introducing Evra for O`Shea and Gibson saw a shot deflected wide by Jagielka.

Just past the hour mark a second change was made when Owen came on for Nani. Everton were still pushing forward and a dangerous looking cross from Osman was dealt with by Evans. Van der Sar then had to produce a decent low save to deny Rodwell from scoring from some twenty yards out.

As the game approached the fifteen minutes of normal time left, Owen saw his deflected effort, at the near post, strike the post. A third change was made when Giggs came on for Gibson but United were still being denied by a robust Everton defence.

Hernandez was fouled by Jagielka some twenty-five yards out and Rooney saw his free kick tipped over the bar by Howard and for the resulting corner Rooney drilled a shot wide. Howard continued to impress in the Everton goal tipping over a close range header from Hernandez.

Just as it looked like Everton would hold out for the 0-0 draw, United got that crucial goal. Distin lost possession, Anderson sprung Valencia and his cross was headed home at the far post by Hernandez.

United 1 Everton 0 (Hernandez - 84 minutes)

With five minutes of stoppage time to play Everton pushed forward, Jagielka fired over form distance and Van der Sar was force dot save a Cahill header.

Victory came in the end but it was a nervous wait.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 23 2011

Time: 2:51PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
A great result and a deserved one I reckon. Every player was active and doing their fair shift an outstanding performance and result to go with it, which I thought wasn't going to happen. MOTM is a hard one again (no single player stands out in this team anymore, it truly is a team effort) but I reckon Anderson deserves it. He was playing every ball, creating space, finding space, closing down and putting pressure on. Valencia, Rooney and Hernandez are all stron contenders for it but on the occassion I feel Anderson was better than all of them.
Report Abuse
23/04/2011 15:32:00

Also, well played Everton, you defended admirably and still attacked when you could've easily had 11 men behind the ball at all times, very commendable. Jagielka was brilliant for you and really stood out.
Report Abuse
23/04/2011 15:37:00

Distin, great job!
Report Abuse
23/04/2011 15:58:00

Good game by the lads, left it late though, but a very solid performance.. Everton did well to keep us out, Howard was solid in goal, but Chicarito, what at star, he just keeps on putting them away.. I am sure he will lead our attack with Rooney next season.. 1 step closer, come on boys..
Report Abuse
23/04/2011 17:11:00

What was your take on the Anichebe incident? Radio commentators suggested it was a clear penalty. Well, a clear pen anywhere but Old Trafford it would seem...
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23/04/2011 18:39:00

fcb, i'm not sure whether you saw the incident, I assume you didn't as you wouldn't be talking of radio commentary but it wasn't a penalty solely because Anichebe lost control of the ball. Hadn't he practically knocked it so hard it rolled into Van Der Sar's hands then i'm sure it would've been a penalty. nordkap, I can see them pairing up next season also, Rooney playing the killer ball whilst Hernandez makes those clever runs but where does that leave Berby?
Report Abuse
23/04/2011 19:39:00

Put it this was TheFamousNo7 it would of been a penalty at the other end, I have no doubts about that, a soft penalty yes but it would of been given. Walton gave us nothing all afternoon. But we didn't deserve anything out of the game after showing up and playing a pathetic 9-0-1 formation for 45 minutes, and even second half we were 4-5-1 at best. Worst thing about Moyes is games when he sets us out to just defend our penalty area and allows the opposition to have as much of the ball as they want outside of it, no ambition at all and we'd lost the game before a ball had been kicked really thanks to his "tactics".
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24/04/2011 02:32:00

Absolutely garbage football on Evertons standard, dont know why you are commending our performance, it was atrocious and we once again allow you to take the 3pts. As for the penalty, the Anichebe incident was a soft penalty, but I am more agrieved about the Beckford penalty claim, Evans basically grabbed his whole leg after he was beaten and dragged him to the ground, but of course at Old Trafford the away team would never get a decision like that. But once again, more importantly probably, is that you showed why you will be eventual champions, where the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal etc wouldve stumbled to a draw, you still managed to win the game.
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24/04/2011 08:22:00

The Beckford claim was much more likely to be given, hadn't Valencia jogged right in front of the ref thus blocking his view of the incident it most probably would've been given. Rob, I don't know Evertons standards to be completely honest with you and personally thought that your defending was brilliant and hadn't it been for an unfortunate c0ck up on Distins behalf you would've easily of got a draw, which is a commendable result seeing as our home record has only allowed for 1 draw all season.
Report Abuse
24/04/2011 10:45:00

We expect to play football every game, none of this parking the bus rubbish. We have shown time and time again that at Goodison we can outplay United football wise (3-1 last season), so why not at Old Trafford?
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24/04/2011 14:23:00


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