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Everton 0 Manchester United 2: Toffees cave despite valiant defensive effort

Three Thoughts from frustrating loss

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Everton need a real striker

This is stating the obvious, but Everton’s striker situation is not ideal. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has done a decent job doing the little things the position requires, but he still has time before he is a reliable contributor. Conversely, Oumar Niasse has cooled off and proven to be bad at everything required of a striker.

Everton have reportedly found their man in Turkish striker Cenk Tosun, but nothing is settled until there is a picture of him holding an Everton kit. Regardless of what happens with the Tosun transfer, striker is clearly the biggest need for Everton.

Manchester United may have some of the best attacking talent in the Premier League, but Everton gave them a run for their money. Unfortunately for Everton, they were unable to capitalize on the openings United were giving them. The opportunities Everton did have were often ruined by horrible first touches and sloppy giveaways. Everton have proven they can defend, now they need to bring in someone who can score.

Surprising contribution from the bench

I must admit, I was not exactly overjoyed by the addition of James McCarthy in the 62nd minute. The once high expectations for the midfielder have vanished thanks to a seemingly endless run of hamstring injuries. So imagine the surprise when McCarthy came in and had a positive effect on the match.

Doing his best Idrissa Gueye impression, McCarthy was throwing himself around the pitch breaking up United’s attack and moving the ball to Everton’s playmakers. McCarthy clearly has a chip on his shoulder after his extended absence and wants to prove to Sam Allardyce that he can contribute something to this squad, and the crowd responded to the player’s energy as well.

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton fail to capitalize on wounded United

The absence of Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was big news coming into this match. This was a great opportunity for Everton to steal some points from the second best team in the league. Everton proved they could limit the damage caused by top table teams after their draw against Chelsea. And despite a valiant effort on defense, they were unable to keep United at bay for too long.

We know what we are getting from an Allardyce-led team, but his offensive acumen still leaves a lot to be determined. Granted, the players at his disposal are not ideal, but that does not excuse yet another match with zero shots on target, and one goal in the last four games. Even as Everton looked to claw their way back into the match late in the second half, they were still unable to force David De Gea to make a single save.

This Everton squad may not be an endless well of attacking talent, but there are enough playmakers on this squad that even one or more shots on goal should not be a huge ask.