Manchester United have once again emerged victorious in their lunch hour clash against Everton and this has seen them climb to the fourth place on the league table for the time being. With the spate of injury worries at Old Trafford club, United manager Louis Van Gaal deployed Macos Rojo and youth sensation Mc Nair in the centre back, with Rafael and Luke Shaw maintaining their usual posts. With the summer signing Anders Herrera out to injury, Antonio Valencia partnered Angel Di Maria in the middle of the park with Daley Blind just behind them. Also without the services of team captain, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao all got in the team line up.
In a serious tussle between both teams, Manchester United suffered a difficult time handling an Everton midfield powered by Garry Barry, Pienaar and Banes, but as the game wore on, an effort down the right saw Rafael send in a cross over to the away team’s 18 yard box. The Brazilian’s effort was repelled and eventually landed with Juan Mata who laid in a low one for Angel Di Maria to slot home inincredible style. The joyous atmosphere charging through Old Trafford was almost silenced when Luke Shaw’s charge was controversially judged and a spot kick awarded at the stroke of half time. Baines missed, and United heaved a sigh of relieve as they headed back into the dressing room.
The second half saw Everton pick up their pace and bring the game to United, and after series of mind boggling attempts they were rewarded with a goal. United was again ahead when Di Maria’s long range effort was diverted into the goal by Radamel Falcao. However, David De Gea it was who stood between the Toffees and another equalizer with several breath-taking saves from the Spaniard. Today’s victory will not only lift a large chunk of pressure off both the players and the managerial team, it also comes with 5 lessons.
Di Maria; A Guardian Angel: Believe it or not, ever since the Argentine has arrived at Old Trafford, there has been a strong wave of brilliance charging through the entire team. Ever since Ronaldo’s departure in 2009, United have lacked a player with such magicaltouches, a team member who can take over the responsibility of getting a win at all cost, Rooney has been trying his best but with an ‘Angel’ within the ranks, things are now getting better. With his best game yet against QPR, the former Real Madrid man got on the scoring sheet today and also assisted in United’s second.
Defensive Worries: Yes, the defence problems have pestered, and although United have been lucky not to have conceded more than a single goal in each of their lasttwo games, it is still obvious that with the current ‘Make-Shift’ defence, the Red Devils will likely have it worse in the coming games. Jones, who unfortunately wasn’t cleared in time to face Everton, has been declared fit and this will surely hand the United’s defence a major boost. However, Van Gaal need to be more active concerning the defenceduring the January transfer window to avoid the persistent issues.
Juan Mata, Still Crucial: Having come under heavy criticism for a larger part of his time at United, the brief Spaniard proved today that he still has stuffs to offer the Red Devils. While it is true that he was continuously out-muscled in the final third, he still made the assist that got United their first goal.
James Wilson, The Future: Whoever questioned Van Gaal’s decision to offload Welbeck clearly hasn’t taken his time to watch James play. Not that the teenager is already fully blown but with the flashes of brilliance he continually shows, then United have probably found themselves a worthy successor for Robin Van Persie.
Woeful Robin: Did you see that pass? Yes, the one got to Dutchman Van Persie, but what happened? Robin blew it! Although the former Arsenal man got a goal against West Ham, his dip in form has continued to haunt him and by extension, the team’s performance.