Fulltime Thoughts - Big Dunc has explained his decision to yank off Kean, saying it was just to kill time, nothing personal against the young striker. Don’t know about that one boss, really don’t.
That aside, the manager got his tactics just about perfect again, his disciplined 4-4-2 got the job done with the resources that he had at hand. Telling that he would much rather use Holgate as a CDM (he did well, by the way) than bring up a youngster from the Under-23s, though with Beni Baningime also injured that only leaves Dennis Adeniran.
90+4’ - There’s the final whistle, and Everton have definitely deserved their point today.
90+2’ - United lofting balls into the box now, Pickford doing well twice.
90’ - It’ll be four minutes added on. Squeaky bum time as it’s known at Old Trafford. Which Ferguson will reign supreme today though?
88’ - Big Dunc is going for industry with a few minutes to play, it’ll be Oumar Niasse coming on for.... Moise Kean is coming off. What a bizarre decision?!
86’ - Everton holding on here, looking to avoid a repeat of what happened at Leicester City.
Juan Mata is on for Daniel James; McTominay takes DCL down about 30+ yards out. Baines goes for it, and its high and wide. Oh well.
83’ - AWB has had Richarlison in his pocket whenever he’s run at him.
Iwobi fires from the left side with his left foot, and DDG pushes it out for a corner. Baines to take.. just over Keane’s jump, and it’s cleared away.
79’ - Kean concedes a freekick in a dangerous area down Everton’s right. Rashford takes it, and fires it right at Pickford who punches it away, just.
78’ - It was coming and there it is. Greenwood finds an inch of space between Mina and Baines, and fits inside the post past Pickford’s despairing dive.
77’ - United still knocking at the door. Pickford bravely punches away a freekick before a James shot was scuffed and trickled to the goalie.
72’ - Everton break from a United corner.. Richarlison finds Iwobi down the left, DCL is in acres of space ALL ALONE IN THE MIDDLE and Iwobi can’t find him. Sigh.
70’ - Another United corner falls to Lindelof in the box, and he fires just over.
Tired Everton legs showing now. Time for another change or two and Big Dunc responds, he’s going for the win and nothing less! Moise Kean on for Bernard.
66’ - Lindelof brings down DCL on the break and now he is booked. United have made a sub meanwhile, with Mason Greenwood on for Lingard.
62’ - Iwobi with a silly turnover leads to a Shaw shot, Pickford saves well and then the rebound is hammered towards goal by James, and knocks Lingard out. Play is stopped as the birthday boy receives attention.
60’ - United ramping up the pressure now. Corner is cleared away, then they win another one that they take short, and that is sent back to midfield.
58’ - Everton freekick, Mina goes down with Lindelof’s arm wrapped around him, Davies late with a flying boot on Rashford, neither is called by Michael Oliver.
Richarlison fails to control the ball and hoofs it into the stands after it goes out, and gets booked for his effort. Unnecessary from the Evertonian.
55’ - Davies down, writhing in pain. Lindelof ran into him, looks like knee or ankle issues. Anthony Gordon is warming up. Iwobi into the middle then?
52’ - Martial plays himself into a cul-de-sac down the right, and then goes down as Baines leaves him nowhere to go. The freekick skims into the box, just over both Keane and Lindelof, and goes wide.
James beats Baines for pace, no surprise there, his low cross is cut out well by Keane. Whew.
50’ - United are stroking the ball around as Everton bunker. Wan-Bissaka gets a cross in, Keane clears, Fred fires the rebound way over.
46’ - Richarlison gets the second half underway.
Halftime Thoughts - All the hallmarks of Big Dunc football as we’re coming to know it. Disciplined defending, shutting down the opponents and relying on the long ball outlet, and guess what, against another opponent expected to control possession, it’s working quite well.
HT #PremierLeague #MUFC 0 (0.94 xG)#EFC 1 (0.46 xG)— Infogol (@InfogolApp) December 15, 2019
United unfortunate to be behind here. Lingard missed the games best chance after only 16 seconds (60%), and neither team have created anything of note since #MUNEVE pic.twitter.com/TfrQr5zDaB
45+2’ - Shaw’s shot trickles into Pickford with the Blues swarming, and that’s the half.
45’ - We’ll have two minutes added on. Everton are passing the ball more confidently now, keeping possession and keeping the clock ticking.
43’ - United are pressing forward again but the Blues have been disciplined, and are closing down the hosts in the final third.
38’ - VAR reviewed that goal for contact with the United goalie, but deemed it acceptable. With Everton’s luck that could have well been chalked off.
Ball almost falls to Iwobi in the box to double the lead but it’s cleared. Everton are in the ascendancy here now.
36’ - OWN GOAL!! Everton lead 1-0! Another Everton corner into the six-yard box, no defenders go up for it, DCL & Mina look to run into De Gea whose weak punch misses, ball bounces off Lindelof’s crotch and into the goal!
35’ - The Blues have weathered the initial tide and have been much more involved the last five or so minutes.
33’ - Another little sequence finds Richarlison on the left and he wins a corner. Bernard takes it from this side but it’s cleared. With no Digne or Sigurdsson it’s going to be Baines and Bernard taking the setpieces.
29’ - Coleman’s first foray into the other half is a reminder that Sidibe’s crossing is much better than his. The Blues string together a dozen passes across the pitch and Iwobi finds the Irishman down the right, and his cross is a grasscutter easily cut out by the defence.
Awful clearance by Luke Shaw in the middle falls to DCL, who hammers a shot from twenty-five yards out straight at the goalie.
25’ - Digne can’t go on, and Baines is on for him, blow this for the Blues.
Davies gives away a freekick about twenty yards outside the box, central location. Rashford has taken these before, drives it straight at Pickford who parries it away. The England goalie almost got caught cheating towards the near post again.
18’ - Richarlison has been quite invisible so far. It’s not like DCL has been able to win too many balls to feed him either.
16’ - Lingard goes sliding in studs up on Keane, just misses him and that might be the only reason he doesn’t have a yellow card on his birthday.
13’ - Digne has had his groin strain flare up, looks like. Baines is now warming up with the Frenchman walking gingerly.
10’ - The deep diagonal ball that did Everton in at Liverpool almost bit them there. Lindelof finds Rashford between Coleman and Keane, his snapshot is just wide.
Now McTominay finds James streaking behind Digne, and he fires wide as well.
7’ - Now Holgate has a crack at goal from outside the box, straight at De Gea though.
5’ - Davies goes sliding into McTominay and clatters him, yellow card.
So this is interesting, Everton are back into their 4-4-2 really, with Mason Holgate stepping up as defensive midfielder, replacing Sigurdsson.
3’ - A deep Holgate cross catches David De Gea unawares and he has to scramble to tip it over, knocking his knee against the post in the process.
The corner is low from Digne, cleared. The second corner is low too, eventually falls to Bernard outside the box and he swipes it well wide.
1’ - United get us underway, and Lingard gets a shot off just wide, 18 seconds in. Martial beat Keane out wide and was able to get a ball into the box. Yikes.
Lineups - It’s going to be a 5-3-2/3-5-2 then for the Blues, with United lining up what might be their best side in a 4-2-3-1. Ferguson will be relieved to have Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne fit for this one. The Gylfi Sigurdsson haters will be thrilled, he’s not even on the bench. The Iceland and Djibril Sidibe are apparently sick. Tom Davies, Alex Iwobi and Bernard as a midfield trio, against McTominay, Fred and Lingard? Oumar Niasse is one of three strikers on the bench with Moise Kean and Cenk Tosun, Fullbacks Leighton Baines and Cuco Martina(!) are the only defenders among the substitutes. We’ll be lucky to not get played off the pitch today.
Duncan Ferguson started off his tenure as Everton’s interim manager with a bang last weekend, leading the Blues to a 3-1 win against Chelsea. His sheer energy seemed to will the players into an effort not seen from this team this season, and the question going into Old Trafford will have to be - how long can he keep this going?
The injury situation has not gotten better for the Toffees, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott joining the ranks of the walking wounded. At this rate Big Dunc is going to have a hard time finding eighteen fit players to make his matchday squad.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 17
Date and start time: Sunday, December 15th at 6:00 a.m. PT / 9:00 a.m ET / 2:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Old Trafford, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Weather: 41°F/5°C, showers, 44% chance of precipitation, 8 mph winds
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Manchester United -
The Blues last meeting against the Red Devils went really well, with Everton winning 4-0 at Goodison Park in what might have been one of the best performances during the Marco Silva era.
Everton didn’t fare as well on their last trip to Old Trafford last October when Jose Mourinho was still in charge. Anthony Martial in particular proved difficult to handle and won the penalty for the first goal (an embarrassing effort from Paul Pogba that was saved by Jordan Pickford but the rebound fell fortuitously for the him to poke back home) before curling an excellent effort past the England goalie for the second. Richarlison and Bernard both missed good chances before Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a late penalty to make it close but an equalizer was not forthcoming.