Three beautiful goals
Three of Everton’s four goals in this match can be considered legitimate goal of the month contenders. In a season where even a close range tap in could be considered sufficient, Everton put up three absolutely beautiful goals from three of their best players.
The first of these three goals, Richarlison’s bicycle kick, has been in the making for a few weeks. Watching him in front of the opposing goalkeeper, it has seemed as though he’s wanted to score a goal like this for a while now. He has had a few aborted attempts at a bicycle kick in recent weeks and it was beautiful to see him put one away in a very important match.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s long range stunner was a beauty to behold as well. The Manchester United defense, which had been suspect all day, allowed Everton’s co-top scorer to just waltz into the attacking third. The midfielder thumped an inch perfect shot past David De Gea’s right side to extend the lead further.
Last but not least, Lucas Digne’s stunning volley from just outside the box may be the best of the bunch. Taking advantage of a poor clearance, the left back caught the entire Manchester United squad off guard with a shot that would make even the best ball strikers jealous.
United unable to trouble Everton
Facing a United team with European competition on the line, Everton were simply dominant in this match. Despite United’s talented line-up, they were unable to trouble Everton in any significant way.
Even though United gained the advantage on possession they had no real scoring opportunities of note. The few times they did get the ball into Everton’s third nothing came of it and on the whole United’s passing was lackluster. And even with a clean sheet this wasn’t a particularly dominant defensive performance from Everton, United were just that bad offensively.
This is an important result for Everton, not just because of the points they scored, but because they took advantage of a struggling team and put them away early. Too often this Everton team has let teams off the hook, so it was nice to see them dominate from start to finish.
Performing well against the top six
Everton are currently undefeated in their last four matches against top six competition. Starting with their draw against Liverpool and now ending with their 4-0 win over Manchester United, this has been an impressive run for Everton.
This run is even more impressive when you consider that those three wins and one draw have all been clean sheets. For a team that has struggled at times to keep goals out of their net, four clean sheets against very good teams is nothing to overlook. It also bears mentioning that each of those matches has been won or drawn in very different ways. This match against United was done with an overwhelming attack, while the win against Arsenal was won with an early goal followed by 80 minutes of solid defending.
It may be too much to hope for this form to continue into next season, but beating top six teams is the step Everton need to take in order to compete for those spots themselves.