The hunt for a Top 4 spot continues

MUFC-EFC-16It was a day of celebrations at Old Trafford today, as Anthony Martial delivered a crucial win for the Red Devils against Everton in their quest for a Top 4 finish, scoring United’s 1000th Premier League goal on home turf as well, while iconic Sir Bobby Charlton received a pre-match honor after the South Stand at Old Trafford was attributed his name.

It was nearly an uneventful first half thou, as United’s only chance came through Martial, who saw his goal-bound shot deflected off Baines, and flirt with the right post before ending up in a goal-kick rather bizarrely as the ref and his assistant failed to see the crucial deflection after all. Everton for their part did not bother United too much at the back, as Lukaku was well marked by Smalling, and being alone up front and being fed long balls to deal with on his own proved to be too much for him. 0-0 at half time, the second half saw United being too slow to get out of the blocks, and Everton caused some problems as Deulofeu and Lukaku combined, with Smalling coming to the rescue, as United had to adapt their defense once again after Rojo was replaced at half time by Fosu-Mensah. Blind and Smalling were called into action respectively when once again Lukaku threatened, and then Cleverley tried his luck as well against his former club.

However, United were clinical at the other end on the 54th minute, as Mata, Rashford and Fosu-Mensah combined, with the latter delivering an elusive cross across the box. Martial somehow got to the ball to drill in a low shot, which went in with a deflection off the keeper. The crowd was in ecstasy as it was United’s 1000th goal on home turf since the Premier League was created in 1992, with the first goal scored then by Denis Irwin at Old Trafford. Everton however were trying to spoil the party, and get back in the game quickly, as with their next opportunity, Jagielka powered a header on the bar following a corner kick, with De Gea looking well beaten. He was again in the mix of the action following yet another corner kick, this time his shot was met by a reflex save from De Gea. Fosu-Mesah then came to the rescue in the closing minutes to keep out Coleman’s cross, as United had to adjust their defense once again with Blind picking up an injury, and replaced by Valencia. United eventually held on for a precious win which puts them 1 point behind City sitting fourth in the table, but a tougher fixture awaits them next Sunday, as they will visit Tottenham at White Hart Lane, with the Spurs chasing the title in second place, and which promises to be an eventful game.

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