Everton 3 - 0 United
Valencia Smalling McNair Shaw
Mata(DiMaria) Herrera Blind Young
If last week’s game vs Chelsea gave us some belief that we’ll be able to challenge for the title next season, then today’s game was a reality check that we’ve still got a long way to go before we can start thinking about challenging. With 12 points to play for, today’s game put us in a very tricky situation. Liverpool are currently seven points behind us but have a game in hand. If they win on Wednesday then I’ll be fearing the worst. We have to play Crystal Palace and Hull away, and they won’t be easy games, plus Arsenal at home. These are all finals and our players need to stand up and be counted. It’s useless winning against the big guns and then drop so many points in winnable fixtures. True, Goodison Park has never been an easy ground for us, whenever we play Everton there; it seems as if they’re playing their annual cup final. They absolutely give their best against us, every fuckin year.
We went behind early in the game. We made a bit of a reaction but it was nothing compared to the intensity we played with after we went behind vs City a fortnight ago. We still managed more than 60% possession but that’s useless if the possession is not winning you games.
Almost immediately after going behind, Fellaini could have (and should have) drawn us level. If Fellaini didn’t fluff his chance, we would’ve gone on and won the game. What happened then was that Everton parked the bus, just like Chelsea last week, and despite all our huffing and puffing they wouldn’t break down. What’s worrying is that all our players look so pumped up when we’re winning but when we encounter an awry situation, a lot of our leaders go amiss.
McNair had a nightmare and I really felt sorry for the guy. He just couldn’t get anything right in today’s game. He’s still very young and this game will serve him as a lesson for future games. I’m more angry at Valencia though. I think he was at fault for all three goals. For the first goal he rushed into a header and missed the ball. Everton then found our defence exposed, since most of our defenders were up for the corner, McNair and Blind failed to tackle McCarthy and the latter put Everton up front. Had Valencia not rushed manically to head that ball, Everton wouldn’t have found themselves attacking against just two defenders.
For the second goal Valencia lost his man as Stones scored an unstoppable header. For the third goal Valencia failed to track the run of the man he was supposed to be marking. All three goals, in my opinion, were Valencia’s fault. Although he plays well at times at right back, he’s still prone to a few games a season when he has an absolute nightmare of a game. He’s not a defender so we should be looking at a right back this season. I don’t think Rafael will be a Man Utd player come September.
So what else did we learn today?
- Blind is no Carrick. He’s too slow and is better at left-back than in midfield.
- Luke Shaw had another decent game on the left and, now that he’s fit, should be preferred to Blind once Carrick gets back into the team.
- Is it just me that thinks that De Gea hasn’t been at his best lately? I can’t remember a significant stop he has made in the past 4 games or so. The only one I can remember is today’s save when we were 3-0. Not really significant, is it?
- Rooney was too lethargic. He isn't the same player when we play Liverpool and Everton away. It's like we play with 10-men at these ground when Rooney starts.
- Falcao should not be a Man Utd player come the start of next season
- Mata and Herrera will have better days.
- Fellaini was the Fellaini of last year. Reckless. But I understand him given that this was his first return to Goodison Park since he left. If he wasn’t subbed off, he would have been sent off.
- Smalling was our best defender.
- In games like these, I expect LVG to be screaming at his players not just sit back and watch the game.
- We were poor, true, but Everton had a good game plan so well done to them.
- Carrick is our lord and saviour. LVG should be looking at a player of similar abilities to run our midfield in the future.
WBA next. I expect a win. Let’s keep our place in the top 4, I don’t really care if we’re 2nd, 3rd or 4th.