Manchester United - United 4 Everton 4
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United 4 Everton 4

Did we throw away more than just two points in this eight goal thriller?

Did we just hand the title initiative to Manchester City?

Team News - Sir Alex Ferguson stuck with the majority of the starting eleven who have served him well as the title race approaches a conclusion with only one major change in his side with Ashley Young dropping to the bench and Nani taking his place.

United - De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Rafael, Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck

Subs - Amos, Jones, Smalling, Giggs, Park, Young, Hernandez

First Half - United got the action underway knowing they were two win away from being crowned Champions, a win against Everton, followed by a win against City, next Monday, would see a 20th title win.

Perhaps that may have been the reason why United started so poorly with Everton looking far brighter and creating several decent early chances. The first of these, in the 2nd minute, saw Osman unleash a shot that hit Ferdinand before Osman headed it wide, another, three minutes later, saw Jelavic hit a shot that De Gea saved, whilst seconds later Osman latched onto a ball from Pienaar but saw his angled shot fly wide.

Slowly United overcame their nervy start and a Valencia ball in saw a Nani shot go wide, before a shot from the same player, from twenty yards out, was saved by Howard. Evra delivered a good cross but Rooney could only head wide under pressure from Jagielka.

Scholes, struggling to get United on top in the middle of the park, saw a long range shot go wide before Everton responded with a cross from Neville that Distin headed wide, under pressure, at the far post. Nani forced a corner which Howard claimed before Gibson crashed shot wide from twenty-five yards out.

But, with thirty-three minutes gone, Everton took a lead they probably deserved when a Hibbert cross was expertly headed home, by Jelavic, from a tight angle.

United 0 Everton 1 - (Jelavic - 33 minutes)

The goal seemed to sting United into life and Howard did well to keep out a Scholes shot that took major deflections off of two players. But, four minutes before half time, United were level. Nani delivered a good ball in and Rooney got in behind Neville to head home past Howard.

United 1 Everton 1 - (Rooney - 41 minutes)

Still, as half time approached, chances were being created and Osman saw a weak shot saved by De Gea before Welbeck saw a header go wide from a free kick.

Half Time - United 1 Everton 1

Second Half - United got the second half underway and Evra was forced to concede an early corner that Gibson delivered too deep. Six minutes into the half Evra and Osman clashed heads but both were able to carry on after treatment.

United took the lead twelve minutes into the half when Welbeck scored a peach of a goal. Receiving the ball in a central position just outside the area, he sold Heitinga the perfect dummy before taking a step forward and unleashing a great shot, from the edge of the area, into the top corner.

United 2 Everton 1 - (Welbeck - 57 minutes)

United were now in control and after Jagielka had done well to keep out a ball in from Valencia, were to go further ahead when United worked the ball back and forth with Evra and Welbeck featuring prominently before Nani received the ball and with an exquisite chip beat Howard from close range.

United 3 Everton 1 - (Nani - 60 minutes)

But, as the match swung from end to end, Everton clawed themselves back into the match when, six minutes later, Hibbert swung over a cross that Fellaini volleyed in past De Gea.

United 3 Everton 2 - (Fellaini - 66 minutes)

Three minutes later United led by two goals again when Welbeck sold a perfect dummy, played a one two with Rooney for the latter to slot home the 180th United goal of his career.

United 4 Everton 2 - (Rooney - 69 minutes)

But, unfortunately for United, Everton were far from finished and after Jelavic had hit the side-netting, minutes later, the forward gleefully rifled home after a Neville cross in wasn`t properly dealt with by the United defence.

United 4 Everton 3 - (Jelavic - 83 minutes)

Two minutes later Everton were level when a move involving Fellaini and Neville saw Pienaar score from close range.

United 4 Everton 4 - (Pienaar - 85 minutes)

As United pressed for a winner, Evra headed over in the last minute before in the fifth minute of stoppage time a thunderous shot from Ferdinand was turned over the bar by Howard.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday April 22 2012

Time: 3:10PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Cracking game, although the defending was shocking at times. But some brilliant goals, some brilliant football. Was a good game, and from my perspective could not of been happier with the boys coming back twice.
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22/04/2012 15:18:00

I would suggest the ref at the derby match keeps a close eye on a certain Mr Young ! lol
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 15:38:00

It was a footballing spectacle with some fantastic attacking football and fair play to Everton for showing great spirit and mentality and fighting back from what seemed like a dead and buried game. Possibly the best 45 minutes of the season in terms of football. From a United perspective though I'm livid. The attacking play was fantastic and Welbeck, Rooney and Nani drove us to what should've been a great win but it was spoiled by the woeful defensive effort. The defending on our part was the worst I've seen since City gave us a pasting and all of Nani, Scholes, Carrick, Evra, Evans, Ferdinand and Rafael need to take a long hard look at themselves. Twice were we caught out from crosses on the left where firstly, Nani failed to close them down enough and Evra failed also to do the same. For the 3rd goal Evans and Ferdinand jumped for the same ball a serious lack of communication which cost us whilst Rafael need to show more awareness of what was going on around him. Carrick and Scholes should've protected them more defensively and also took some of the pressure off by not giving the ball away so cheaply all the time and showing some composure and playing safe, easy football when 4-2/3-1 up. Then again, Fergies at just as much fault, everyone could sense it was heading for a spectacular finish as we were far to open, tactically Jones should've been swapped for Scholes, who struggled all game, much sooner. Also, Nani should've been subbed off for Young to see out the game as Young offers more cover, more protection and is more skilled defensively and closes down more. God forbid it but if the worst comes to worst and City do win the title after we were 8 points up the squad are going to be made a laughing stock, something that is a very real threat now. All the talk of how they 'knew' City would implode due to 'x', 'y' and 'z' will be asked the question, 'well why couldn't you see that coming?' and 'where's your mental strength/experience now?' after suffering an embarassing loss of the title due to complancency, arrogance and lack of concentration leading to the implosion of our own campaign and dropping a monumental 8 points. It's time for the team to put up or shut up, enough talking to the media get your head down and get the results.
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22/04/2012 15:39:00

To be fair, Everton's defence was just as bad. The ref was again a joke, can someone please explain this, Evans goes down with a LEG injury whilst Everton are on a counter attack, and the ref stops play. Then Pienaar falls to the floor with a LEG injury, the ref doesn't stop play and United score. And 5mins of injury time? Seriously, the FA or someone needs to sort this ***** out at Old Trafford, because it is a joke.
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22/04/2012 15:50:00

I don't doubt you werent at your best defensively either Rob but atleast your defenders made some interceptions and tackles whilst i can only recall one block from Evans otherwise De Gea was completely stranded. Couldn't agree more about the ref, I thought he had a mare and Moyes summarised it perfectly when he said he was poor. Pienaar/ Evans incident being one, he's yellow card decisions were bemusing at times particularly for Distin and Evra and his inability to spot Rafaels blatant free kick after being fouled on the edge of the box was shocking. As for the extra time, sorry mate but if your going by the 45 seconds per goal and 30 seconds per sub and there were 6 goals and subs to go with it...
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 15:57:00

What's this? Controversy over the ammount of stoppage time played at Old Toilet? never heard that one before.
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 16:55:00

lol FCB - stoppage time has come to your rescue a couple of times this season hasnt it???
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 17:06:00

Do you have to put that ugly thugs face on every news article? is this a way to say that non utd fans are not welcome?
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 17:07:00

What a f***ing stupid game! Screw the scoreline! how could we lose the 3 points of this game?
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 17:13:00

Your defence is sh""e when you haven't got the Ref and Young falling all over
Tiny T
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22/04/2012 17:56:00

Looking forward to the derby. More than Stretford will be I suspect!
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 17:57:00

squaky bum time all round I'd suggest
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 19:26:00

8 Points you Nearly had 8 points..... but Not any more its down to 3 and Squeaky bum time,for you lot more than us as we are not expected to win it, Experience versus Novices and all that.... makes the Derby a bit of a big game dont it.....
Report Abuse
22/04/2012 20:04:00

"We're not expected to win it?" Chelsea fans said that exact same thing last year cityman in an attempt to ease the pressure on them. You are expected to win it, don't be fooled because we went 8 points clear at one point that all expectation went out of the window, the expectation still exists and the pressure is now on more than ever for both teams. May the best team win come Monday, I'm looking forward to it and seeing how we respond.
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22/04/2012 22:13:00


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