Everton went into Old Trafford on Sunday and lost to Manchester United. The play of the goalkeepers made the difference in this match. Here are some thoughts:
- Everton struggled to attack in the first half. Any effort to play the ball into a dangerous area was stopped before the attacking third. The Manchester United defense only allowed two shots on goal in the first 45 minutes: one on a long pass in to Lukaku and the other the saved penalty. Steven Pienaar and Tony Hibbert did well to win the penalty, but all for nothing as Leighton Baines ruined his perfect Premier League record when his shot was stopped.
- Roberto Martinez's adjustments in the second half (Steven Naismith to the center, Romelu Lukaku to the left) paid dividends. Daley Blind had acres of space to distribute the ball in the first half, and that defensive negligence resulted in the first goal. The manager's decision paid off when Naismith's diving header hit the back of the net.
- Tim Howard cost his team a goal. His decision to keep the ball in play and not just kick it out left Everton's defense in shambles. Di Maria took a shot and Falcao intercepted and scored. This came at the worst time as Everton were looking stronger and the go-ahead goal took the life out of the Blues.
- More confusing substitutions from Martinez. Why leave Samuel Eto'o on the bench? Leon Osman comes on for Aiden McGeady when Eto'o just scored to equalize in Russia? To be fair, Osman got two really good looks at goal, and nearly scored.
- David De Gea won this game for Manchester United. He had some great saves at the end to keep Everton out of his goal and claim a win for his team.
Everton go into the international break on a down note. The next match is Aston Villa at home on October 18th.