Your sins are forgiven go and sin no more – Sir Jim Ratcliffe message to Eric Ten Hag this morning after Everton defeat 

Your sins are forgiven go and sin no more – Sir Jim Ratcliffe message to Eric Ten Hag this morning after Everton defeat 

 

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Man Utd 2-0 Everton: Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford penalties clinch victory for Erik ten Hag’s side

Match report and free highlights as Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford penalties, won by player of the match Alejandro Garnacho, secure a 2-0 win for Manchester United against Everton; free match highlights available on Sky Sports’ digital platforms from 5.15pm

By Nick Wright, Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

 

17:15, UK, Saturday 09 March 2024

 

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Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford scored first-half penalties as Manchester United bounced back from defeat to Manchester City with a 2-0 win over struggling Everton at Old Trafford.

 

Alejandro Garnacho won both spot-kicks with Fernandes coolly converting the first of them before handing the second to Rashford, allowing the winger to find the net for a second successive game after his long-range stunner in last weekend’s derby.

 

Manchester United’s performance was sloppy at times but Everton’s wastefulness in front of goal ensured it was a comfortable victory for Erik ten Hag’s side, putting them within three points of fifth-placed Tottenham, who have two games in hand.

 

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Sean Dyche’s side finished the game with 23 shots to Manchester United’s 15 – the most by an away side at Old Trafford all season – but once again demonstrated a glaring lack of cutting edge in front of goal as their Premier League winless run stretched to 11 games – equalling a club record set in 1994.

 

The Toffees remain 16th, five points above the drop zone, but defeat gives their relegation rivals a chance to reduce the gap.

 

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Player ratings

Man Utd: Onana (7), Lindelof (6), Varane (7), Dalot (7), Evans (7), Casemiro (5), Mainoo (6), Fernandes (8), Garnacho (8), McTominay (6), Rashford (7).

 

Subs: Amrabat (6), Kambwala (6), Antony (6).

 

Everton: Pickford (7), Godfrey (5), Tarkowski (6), Branthwaite (7), Mykolenko (5), Harrison (6), Onana (6), Garner (6), McNeil (7), Doucoure (5), Beto (5).

 

Subs: Calvert-Lewin (5), Gomes (6), Dobbin (6), Young (6), Chermiti (6).

 

Player of the Match: Alejandro Garnacho

 

How Man Utd punished wasteful Everton

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor and The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson discuss Manchester United’s chances of Champions League qualification and Everton’s recent missed chances in front of goal

The injury-hit hosts reached half-time two goals to the good but their first-half performance was beset by sloppiness as they repeatedly gifted possession to Everton in their own half.

 

Team news

Man Utd were unchanged from their 3-1 loss to Manchester City, with Marcus Rashford starting again.

Everton also named an unchanged side, with Beto starting up front and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the bench.

Dwight McNeil, Amadou Onana and Ben Godfrey were among those to spurn chances for the visitors, however, and, up at the other end, they were punished by the dangerous Garnacho.

 

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The first penalty was won when he shimmied away from James Tarkowski, drawing a clear foul from the Everton centre-back, with Fernandes putting the spot-kick out of Jordan Pickford’s reach to notch his first Premier League goal since November.

 

Image:

Bruno Fernandes celebrates after giving Man Utd a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot

Garnacho was then clumsily brought down in the box for a second time, with Godfrey the culprit. Fernandes’ unconventional decision to give the spot-kick to Rashford paid off as the 26-year-old sent Pickford the wrong way following a stuttering run-up.

 

Pickford made a stunning save from a Fernandes free-kick in between the two penalties, with Manchester United becoming more threatening as the half went on.

 

Image:

Ben Godfrey concedes a penalty for a foul on Alejandro Garnacho

The hosts had more opportunities after the break, mostly on the counter-attack, with Garnacho not quite able to turn home a low cross by Fernandes from one of several chances and Victor Lindelof seeing a close-range effort repelled following a corner.

 

Everton, meanwhile, continued to find space in the Manchester United half to no avail, with Abdoulaye Doucoure seeing a near-post effort saved by Andre Onana and Dominic Calvert-Lewin failing to turn home a cross-shot by fellow substitute Lewis Dobbin.

 

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Rashford scores his side’s second goal from the penalty spot

Calvert-Lewin also sent a free header from a corner straight at Onana as Everton continued to pepper the United goal, but their bluntness was such that there was no real sense of jeopardy for the hosts as the second half meandered towards its conclusion.

 

The win, much-needed after back-to-back Premier League defeats against Fulham and Manchester City, boosts Manchester United’s European hopes. For winless Everton, meanwhile, at risk of getting sucked back into trouble, the picture looks increasingly bleak.

 

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Ten Hag: We are pushing Garnacho to new level

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag: “I was very pleased with the pressing and also the defending of the box. The only thing that could be better is keeping more of the ball, be more calm on the ball, playing more give-and-gos.

 

“When you have a high press, you can’t go all the time with long balls because you stretch the pitch and we don’t actually want that. But all over, a good performance and good result.

 

“It was a team performance but especially our back four and our goalkeeper in the back and Casemiro in the front. They have done very well.

 

“The way we defended set-plays was very good, really well organised and focused and everyone did their job. From the second phase, they had some opportunities, but overall, I think we did quite well.”

 

On the second penalty: “They decided on the pitch together. But we have more very good penalty takers in our squad, Bruno is one, Rashy is one, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen as well, plus others.

 

“That’s very good when you have that in your squad. When you get [two] at such short notice, two different penalty takers makes it harder for the opposition and the goalkeeper.”

 

On Garnacho: “It’s about him and if he can keep the focus. If he puts the right effort in during a game and during the week, because sometimes for young players it’s difficult because they are inexperienced.

 

“As a coaching staff, we have a job to do, but he is able to keep this focus and attitude and he will improve from game to game and that’s what we see. We are very pleased with his performance.

 

“With young players, you always have to tell them [to keep focus in the week]. In the week, you win your game and there we have to work very well in training session and meetings, we have to be spot on to get the performance at the weekend.

 

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Erik ten Hag praised Marcus Rashford’s impact

“I love to work with him, just like the other players in the squad. He is a player who needs a challenge, likes a challenge, he’s very brave and confident and our job is to push him to higher levels.

 

“But he is doing this. He has a high potential and now we have to get the potential out. You have to work day by day and when you are young, you don’t know what it is to play in a high competitive leave, to perform every third day.

 

“You need that experience and you have to perform in every training session to get better because there are so many areas for them to improve.”

 

Fernandes: I offered Rashford penalty

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes to TNT Sports: “Obviously we know we have to win every game that we have ahead.

 

“We know our position in the league and it’s not enough for us. We want to try and get into the spots for the Champions League. We know it’s going to be tough and difficult but we have to win these games.

 

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Bruno Fernandes makes it 1-0 with a first-half penalty

“We didn’t win against Fulham. That was not good enough. Then we go away to City and we don’t win two games in a row. It gets tough. Aston Villa is doing really well, in moments Tottenham are being really good. It will be more difficult for us than them but we have to push.”

 

On handing the second penalty to Marcus Rashford: “We both kick the penalties. I asked Marcus if he wanted to take and he said he was confident. He is one of the penalty takers that the manager chooses. I felt I had my one, Rashy could get his goal from the penalty.”

 

Dyche frustrated by lack of ‘killer mentality’

Everton boss Sean Dyche: “With all due respect to the squads I’ve had, I’ve never been here and had that many chances or opportunities. It’s very frustrating and we’ve had a run of that.

 

“We’ve been performing correctly in so many ways but the scoreline is the stat that’s important. That’s the bit we’re getting on the wrong side of and we’ve got to continually work on it to change it.

 

“The two penalties are soft. They are penalties, but they’re soft from our point of view, just not shuffling your feet quick enough and dealing with the moment, which we’ve done very well. It’s a tough one for me. I’m not going to over question the defensive side of the team because I think it’s been strong this season.

 

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Everton’s Beto in action at Old Trafford

“I spoke to the players after the game and you’ve got to get hurt to score a goal sometimes, as Brian Clough used to say. It can’t all be glorious goals, you’ve got to get hurt and that’s what I’m not seeing.

 

“We’re getting into areas that might be awkward goals or be hungry enough to get hurt to score a goal, and that’s got to change. Once you start scoring those, you then start scoring the nice ones and that’s the order it needs to be done in.

 

“I’m seeing a team that are committed, they’re fit, some of the football today was very pleasing. So it’s really frustrating to not see that come to fruition with scoring more goals because they’re doing a lot right.

 

“You’ve got to score goals to finish it all off and that killer mentality is key.”

 

The story of the match

 

 

Player of the match – Alejandro Garnacho

The Argentine winger made a decisive contribution with his two penalty wins, the first coming after clever footwork up against Tarkowski; the second after a dancing run into the box.

 

Image:

Garnacho celebrates after winning the first penalty

He remained a threat on the break throughout the second half, his runs putting him in behind Everton’s backline on numerous occasions, the only frustration being that he could not get his name on the scoresheet. Everton could not get to grips with him.

 

Fernandes on the spot – Opta stats

Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, no player has scored more penalties in the competition than Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes (17, level with Mohamed Salah).

Eleven of Fernandes’ penalties have come at Old Trafford, with only Ruud van Nistelrooy (12) scoring more at the ground in the Premier League.

Alejandro Garnacho was the first player to win two penalties in a single Premier League game since Antonio Rudiger for Chelsea against Leeds in December 2021, and first ever to do so for Manchester United in the competition.

Everton have a shot conversion rate of just 7.3 per cent in the Premier League this season, scoring 29 goals from 397 shots – their lowest rate in a campaign since records began in 1997-98.

Everton remain winless in 11 Premier League games (D5 L6), the longest ongoing run of any side currently in the competition.

What’s next?

Manchester United host rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday March 17, kick-off 3.30pm. United return to Premier League action on Saturday March 30 at Brentford, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 8pm.

 

Everton have three weeks until their next Premier League fixture on Saturday March 30 at Bournemouth. Kick-off 3pm.

 

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