Date:Saturday April 28 2007
Manchester United won 4-2 at Goodison Park to open up a five-point gap at the top of the table.
The Reds, without the benched Cristiano Ronaldo, were below-par for most of the first hour. Everton, meanwhile, were revelling in the atmosphere created by their fans and their early enthusiasm resulted in a freak goal.
United applied some pressure but apart from a few chances, they offered little threat to Turner's goal.
Rooney was booed at every touch but it did not disturb him unduly as United came flying out of the blocks after the interval. It seemed we'll have a real go at them but then Fernandes scored a fantastic goal and it seemed done and dusted.
Chelsea were 2-1 ahead at Stamford Bridge, Solskjaer and Smith were poor and the others could not break down Everton's stubborn resistance.
Of course, we kept going and put them under pressure but did not look like scoring until young Iain Turner's horrendous mistake that allowed John O'Shea to blast the ball into the net.
Rooney could have equalised twice after beating the offside trap but somehow failed on both occasions so instead of the former Everton man, we had to rely on an ex-Red. Another corner was whipped in by Carrick and substitute Ronaldo was first for the ball. His header was reasonable but Phil Neville made a mess of clearing it on the goalline and could only put it into hos own net.
In that wonderful moment, I would have bet that this win was ours. Everton players were stunned and we were finally in full flow. Maybe boosted by the news of Bolton's equaliser, we surged forward and when O'Shea's cross found Rooney in the box, you had the sense of inevitability. He beat Hibbert then placed a firm shot into the far corner.
It was over, really. United should have added to our tally but their profligacy kept them on the edge until the 92nd minute when Chris Eagles, on as a substitute for the ineffective Solskjaer, showed that he might not be the most talented player but he's certainly capable of scoring important goals.
His delightful finish was greeted by Sir Alex as if we had won the title - and we probably had. Our vastly superior goal difference (82 in the goals for column, my god) means we need to take 4 points from 3 games. Next it's Manchester City in the league - another fantastic chance for another memorable victory.
We must not let it slip now! This team is up there with the very best of United teams and I mean it. If you look at the skill, the experience, the team spirit, the resoluteness - they stand well up to any comparison.
Date:Saturday April 28 2007
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