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Man Utd 1 Everton 1

MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Richardson (Rossi 79), Park (Ronaldo 64), Smith (Fletcher 74), Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Saha.

Subs Not Used: Howard, Brown.

EVERTON: Wright, Hibbert, Yobo, Weir, Nuno Valente, Osman, Davies, Neville, Kilbane, Beattie (Ferguson 87), McFadden (Bent 81).

Subs Not Used: Kroldrup, Li Tie, Turner.

The frustration continues and the pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson is mounting after United were booed off following a home draw with Everton.

Bundled out of Europe by Benfica in midweek, United's inability to find a winner after Ryan Giggs had levelled James McFadden's early strike leaves them a massive 12 points adrift of runaway leaders Chelsea.

The result exposed the hollow words of Ferguson, who claimed his side would respond to their Champions League exit in the right way and those of the Scot's trusted assistant Carlos Queiroz, who insisted on Friday United would still enjoy a 'great' season.

McFadden fizzed his seventh minute shot past Edwin van der Sar, but United responded. Once Giggs had exploited some shameful flat-footedness in the heart of Everton's defence by drawing the hosts level when he romped beyond the Toffees' rearguard to stab home Paul Scholes' long ball, the hosts took total control.

Time after time, Ferguson's side were one touch or one bounce of the ball away from getting a clear sight of goal but on virtually every occasion, the ball ended up with a blue shirt.

When United did carve out an opening, and Wayne Rooney, desperate to excel against his old club, was usually the architect, they found Richard Wright in top form.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who lost his place following his miserable return to Portugal, was introduced but, yet again, the winger made no impact.

In fairness, Ronaldo was not on his own. It is not so much character United lack these days, it is belief and another miserable result nearly became calamitous when Silvestre forced Van der Sar to scurry back and collect a cushioned header which so nearly ended up in his own net.

The Journalist

Writer: Cantona Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 12 2005

Time: 4:09PM


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