Chicharito confirmed his status of the new superstar on the block for United, as he scored the only goal, but such a vital one in the confrontation against Everton at Old Trafford today, as this win sends United 9 points clear of Chelsea and Arsenal, who play later on. The match was looking for heading to yet another draw until that 84th minute header on the limit of the offside trap from Chicharito to save the day and the 3 points for MU.
With the Champions League in mind, United made changes to the back four, as Fabio slotted on the right, while Evans and O’Shea replaced Vidic and Evra respectively, and the central midfield saw Gibson and Anderson start with Nani and Valencia on either wings, and Rooney and Chicharito in attack. The first half was not that brilliant thou, and Chicharito came close on the 25th minute but Howard denied him, then near half-time, he somehow played the goalkeeper himself in an unfortunate way as he blocked Nani’s shot and sent it wide from Howard’s goal. A penalty however could have been awarded in the meantime to Everton, as Evans and Beckford got into a tangle, and Beckford went to ground, but may be the ref thought it was a 50-50 challenge and allowed play to continue.
The second half saw Everton came back in more determined fashion, as Cahill and Anichebe were sent on to put pressure on United, and the latter made his presence felt when he sprinted past Ferdinand into the box, but then went to ground after what looked like a mild push by Rio, but which again was ignored by the ref and no complaints as well from Anichebe or the Everton players. Everton then came close as Rodwell’s shot took a deflection off Evans, and Van Der Sar dived to his right to get a hand to it to put it out for a corner. United sent on Evra, Owen and finally Giggs to try change what looked like another draw looming, and eventually, although neither men were involved in the build up, United found the net through Chicharito. Anderson fed a pass to Valencia, who in turn crossed, but took a little deflection on the way, which in no means deterred Chicharito, who on the limit of the offside trap, headed into the net and sent the United fans delirious. United held on for the final minutes, and can now focus on the huge task awaiting them in Germany on Tuesday night, where the surprising Schalke 04 lies waiting to ambush the Red Devils.