It is better to watch the Red Devils play in cup games rather than in the Premier League these days, as once again they blew up their chances to claim a win, this time Everton causing the upset in the dying minutes of the game to claim an equalizer, and helped in the process by old boy Fellaini, who had come on for United only a few minutes ago, but conceded a stupid penalty which allowed Everton to draw level. Mourinho must be raging inside for this stupid decision he made to send on the Belgian, but he too seems to be losing the plot as well concerning the EPL games, as United are yet to register a win since one month now, and there seems to be no Plan B as well for the manager as week-in week-out, we see the same formation being used, with the exception of some players being rotated due to cup games in midweek, or either suspended or injured, and then sometimes he just throws in a “grenade” like Fellaini who blows the hard work up and the whole team pays the price in the end.
The first half of the match was a very lackluster one, as despite United having the ball, they had zero shots on target, while Zlatan and the others lost the ball too often in some attempts to up the tempo of the game. Rojo should have been sent off for his two-footed lunge on Gueye, but was lucky to see the ref only booking him in the end. We had to wait until the 42nd minute to finally see the first shot on target, which somehow went in. Martial sent a long ball in the direction of Zlatan, and Everton’s keeper Stekelenburg senselessly rushed off his line to try meet the ball before the striker. Zlatan had the simple job of trying the lob, which was successfully executed, but the goal itself was a miraculous one, as the ball struck the bar, bounced off the left post, and eventually crossed the line before Funes Mori got it out but to no avail as the goal stood. Things were looking good for United so far, as they kept the lead till half-time, while De Gea was barely tested at the other end.
However, Everton came back looking more ambitious in the second half, as Mirallas forced De Gea into a reflex save, while United could have put the game to bed at the other end minutes later, but Herrera’s shot crashed off the bar and this time came out cleanly. Gueye then tested De Gea with a floating shot, which looked straight at the latter, but he somehow misjudged the path but still managed to palm the shot away. United suddenly looked out of sorts, and back-pedalled. Everton romped up the pressure on them, and in a desparate attempt to try keep the scoreline, Mourinho sent on Rashford and Fellaini, a costly mistake really for introducing the latter, knowing he usually gives away many fouls, and the most dreaded situation finally came on 89th minute, as he brought down Gueye in the box, resulting in a calmly taken penalty from Baines to level the score, and the home crowd was in raptures, while the Red Devils were completely disillusioned by the outcome, although it is surely becoming customary to them, as well as us fans following them in the EPL. With Rooney suspended for today’s game, Pogba was handed the No. 10 role, but once again he gave an erratic performance, sometimes adding too much complexity to his game when he really should play simple, and his price-tag is yet to be justified with his current contribution to the team, and IMHO he’s another major flop brought in by Woodward, while Zlatan, despite looking physically fit, no longer has the same impact as his PSG days. The January transfer market may be the best time for United to strengthen the squad with some younger but quality additions, but before that, may be Mourinho must reinvent himself in new tactics and formations to make the team click again if he really wants to follow in the steps of SAF, and try at least get the team in the CL at the end of this season.