Final whistle sounds, it ends 3-3! The Toffees have stolen a point today, never quite giving up without looking like they were trying that hard either!! Shades of that 4-4 draw at Old Trafford from a few years ago!
90+5’ - GOAL!! King buys a freekick off substitute Tuanzebe!! Olsen goes up and Digne into the box, Keane flicks it on for DCL, who controls and tucks it past De Gea!!! 3-3 out of nowhere again!!
VAR will look at it, but it stands!! WOW!!
90+4’ - Blues have a last chance to attack, but Digne inexplicably pulls his cross back to the edge of the box for Sigurdsson to get overpowered and then Cavani buys a foul. That should be the game.
90+2’ - King caught coming back from an offside position.
90’ - King leaves it for Digne, his cross is blocked for a throw-in. The Frenchman lofts it into the box, Keane heads it on and De Gea collects.
Four minutes added on. No real threat from the Blues.
88’ - You know King would love to score against the club he started his career with, but all he’s done is lose the ball twice since he’s come on.
DCL outmuscles Maguire and finds Richarlison, all the Brazilian has to do is shoot, but its wayward. Argh.
86’ - Blues do well to steal the ball and Digne can cross, but he looks to catch De Gea napping and his low shot hits the outside of the post and goes out.
84’ - Everton aren’t really threatening their hosts staying in the 4-2-3-1 formation - Sigurdsson and Gomes in the middle, Richarlison at #10 and King in the Brazilian’s spot out wide.
80’ - With Iwobi on, the Blues are now in a 4-2-3-1 with the Nigerian out on the right now.
Keane booked. Rashford was running with intent and takes him down, at the edge of the box.
This is Fernandes territory, but he curls it up and over the wall, but no time for it to dip again.
Doucoure is coming off now, and Joshua King is on, making his second Everton appearance.
78’ - Great run from Rashford sees Olsen out of position, and he can only blaze wide with defenders scrambling to close him down.
77’- The Blues almost get in trouble passing their way out of the back, ball comes to Fernandes whose shot is just over, almost a mirror image of his first.
75’ - Holgate fouled again, about the same spot as before. Alex Iwobi is coming on for Davies now, the Blues are going for it.
Sigurdsson cross into the box again, headed back across the area by Godfrey and DCL is offside as he gets a boot to it.
73’ - Shaw hacks down Holgate as the Everton player breaks down the wing, he’s booked and the Blues have a freekick.
Sigurdsson to take, lovely delivery, but it’s cleared.
70’ - Freekick for a foul on Shaw, and curled into the box.. McTominay gets his head to it and it edges past a sprawling Olsen. Looks like he slipped and couldn’t complete his dive. Pickford would have been absolutely disembowelled if that were him. 3-2 to United now.
69’ - Everton’s first change will be Sigurdsson on for James now.
66’ - End-to-end action right now. The Blues get out of their own half with purpose, Digne has a chance to cross into a crowded box and now United break the other way, but there’s a foul by Fernandes on Godfrey.
62’ - Cavani feeds Rashford through on Olsen, the Swedish goalie stays big and blocks the shot for a corner, cleared away.
60’ - Per the US commentators, Gylfi Sigurdsson was about to come on for James just before when the Blues pulled level.
57’ - Richarlison commits a foul at the edge of the box which is then cleared for a corner. Cleared away again.
Now Olsen makes a Pickford-level mistake, getting a hand to a cross that was going well wide. Luckily the corner is cleared away again.
52’ - 2-2!! OH MY WORD WHAT IS HAPPENING!! Blues charge forward again, Digne’s cross eludes everyone, and then Doucoure pulls it back to James. The Colombian superstar brings down a difficult ball very well, swivels and fires home low with no chance for De Gea! 2-2!!
49’ - GOAL! Out of nowhere, Davies finds DCL with a lovely through-ball, the angle is tight and his shot is parried away by De Gea straight to Doucoure who taps home! 2-1!
If only DCL had pulled one back before the halftime whistle.
47’ - Cavani sets up an overlapping Shaw for a shot that Olsen does very well to parry away.
46’ - United on the front foot right away as Rashford runs at the Everton defence.
Halftime Thoughts - Everton have gone completely to pieces since conceding the first goal. The Toffees were always going to be outclassed by United’s talent level, but when they’re getting outworked too, they don’t stand a chance.
45+2’ - Oh no Dom. DCL played onside and through on goal, De Gea advances and DCL places it past the goalie, and just wide of the far post. That could and should have been an undeserved 2-1.
45’ - Fernandes!! What a goal! From the same spot again that Rashford crossed from, he shapes to cross, Davies is fooled, and Fernandes just nonchalantly floats it over Olsen into the far corner just under the bar. Magnificent.
43’ - Rashford sets up Fred to shoot, but he scuffs his attempt and it drifts wide.
Everton can break and Richarlison has the ball in the United box running at Lindelof.. and then.. just falls down. That’s how things are going for the Brazilian right now.
42’ - A delightful ball from Gomes finds Digne running forward, Lindelof’s clearance falls to Richarlison who sees De Gea off his line and swings it at goal, but it drifts wide with little power behind it.
40’ - For the 213rd time Everton try to get out of their own half and a misplaced pass gives United the ball right back.
39’ - Paul Pogba is going off, having tweaked something with Fred on to replace him.
37’ - Digne pulls Cavani down and gives up a foul from about where Rashford’s cross came into the box. Fernandes to take.. low and straight at Olsen with no one making a run.
35’ - Even McTominay, who is United’s defensive midfielder, is getting right up to the edge of the Everton box. It’s clear to everyone now that Everton have no game apart from hoofing long balls to DCL.
James you ask? Well, he’s been muscled off the ball just about every time he’s touched it.
32’ - Everton haven’t learned yet, allowing McTominay now to cross from the same area Rashford did for the goal.
30’ - Everton have gone into their defensive shells now that they have conceded. Weird.
25’ - Third cross from Rashford and this time he makes it count. No Everton midfielder picks up the England forward and he put in a delightfully inviting ball over Keane and Cavani just has to make contact with his head to score. No chance Olsen, 1-0 to United.
22’ - Everton break beautifully, long ball to DCL who controls well and is shaping to shoot when Maguire comes sliding in.
United break from that, Greenwood leaves Digne and then Gomes for dead, but his shot is poor. Whew. Talented kid that.
20’ - Rashford cross into the box is good, and Holgate clears for a corner. Fernandes to take, Pogba heads it into the box much like Godfrey did for DCL midweek, but DOucoure hooks it clear.
16’ - Everton have 54% of the possession so far, which is nice to see.
14’ - Richarlison does well to get to the line and cross into the box, his looping ball is met by DCL who can’t control it though.
11’ - Dom & Richy combine to get Digne the ball, his second attempt at a cross is cut out for a corner. James’ outswinging corner deemed to have gone out of play by ref Jon Moss.
9’ - Davies with a delightful to find Dominic Calvert-Lewin running free. Eventually James Rodriguez crosses into the box and it’s just ahead of a late Lucas Digne run.
5’ - Holgate finds himself in space on the right, but his cross is cut out by Luke Shaw ending that move.
3’ - Cross looks like it’s drifting out but Holgate keeps it in play and now United have a corner on the Everton left. Richarlison then Andre Gomes clear.
1’ - Game on at Old Trafford!
We’ll be underway in a bit but right now here’s a minute’s silence in memory of those who perished in the Munich air disaster in 1968, decimating the “Busby’s Babes”.
The lineups are out and Carlo Ancelotti has made three changes to the side that beat Leeds United midweek. Mason Holgate stays in at rightback likely to nullify the threat of Luke Shaw while Lucas Digne is back at his position of leftback.
Everton have continued to be an up-and-down side into 2021, and it almost feels like we don’t know which side will turn up on any given day. Despite the inconsistencies and injuries though, the Blues remain in touching distance of the top four and will need to reel off another few wins to ensure they don’t get set adrift into midtable mediocrity like they have in the past.
The test this weekend is a big one - playing Manchester United at Old Trafford. Home advantage has been thrown out the window this season with closed doors games, which will suit the Toffees just fine considering they have only one win at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ in the Premier League era - #OviedoBaby!
No side has profited more from not having away crowds baying for their blood than United whose away record is quite exemplary, especially when coming from behind. Lest you think that’s where they win all their points though, the Red Devils bounced back from a home loss against bottom club Sheffield United with a 9-0 dismantling of ten-man Southampton (which became nine-man Southampton at 7-0 late on).
Competition: Premier League Matchday 21
Date and start time: Saturday, February 6th at 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m ET / 8:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Old Trafford, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Capacity: 76,000 (behind closed doors)
Weather: 37°F/3°C, chance of showers, 31% chance of precipitation, 15 mph winds
How to Watch/Listen
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Gamethread: Live blog above starting one hour before game time
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Olsen, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Davies, Gomes, Doucoure, Rodriuguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Virginia, Mina, Nkounkou, Coleman, Delph, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, King
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelöf, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Subs: Henderson; Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams; Fred, Matic, van de Beek; James, Martial.
Ref: Jonathan Moss VAR: Andre Marriner
The Blues have hosted United both times they’ve played this season - in the Premier League and then in the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup. The first time, Bernard scored early to put the Blues up ahead, but a series of headscratching defensive errors later, the game ended 3-1 to United with the hosts pushing forward looking for an equalizer.
In the cup tie, an embattled Everton short a number of key players due to injuries looked like they were playing for penalties for long stretches of the game in December. However, a moment of brilliance very late on from Edinson Cavani made the difference in a 2-0 win for the visitors. As someone pointedly noted during the game, when United needed a spark they brought on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Everton? Tom Davies and Cenk Tosun. That should tell you all you need to know about squad depth.
The Blues last visit to Old Trafford was under caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, the game ending 1-1 while the Toffees were still working out how to replace Marco Silva with Carlo Ancelotti. That fixture has since gained a lot more notoriety for how Big Dunc sent on Moise Kean as a substitute, appeared to give him a talking-to during the game and then substituted him back off, all in a matter of 18 minutes. Yikes.