United thumped at Everton to dent Champions League hopes
Premier League, Goddison Park – Everton 4 (Richarlison 13, Sigurdsson 26, Digne 56, Walcott 64) Manchester United 0
Manchester United lost further ground in the battle for a Champions League place as they were thumped 4-0 at Everton on Sunday.
Richarlison acrobatically fired the hosts into the lead after 13 minutes before a thunderbolt from Gylfi Sigurdsson put Marco Silva's side in control at the break.
The jubilant home fans stood to applaud Lucas Digne's strike to make it 3-0 from the edge of the area after 56 minutes, and substitute Theo Walcott completed the rout when he fired past David de Gea after being sent through on goal by Sigurdsson.
The result moves Everton up to seventh place in the Premier League, while United remain sixth - but could finish the day five points off fourth-placed Arsenal.
United’s afternoon did not get off to the best of starts as Richarlison gave Everton an early lead after a Digne long throw had caused all sorts of problems, meaning United have now conceded in 11 consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since December 1998.
Things went from bad to worse for a error-strewn United as Sigurdsson doubled Everton’s advantage, beating De Gea from fully 30 yards – the Spain goalkeeper will certainly feel he could have done better.
United finished the half without having had a single meaningful attack all half, and just 11 minutes after the break they were three goals behind as Digne drilled home from 25 yards through a crowd of players.
By the time Walcott had slotted home his fourth of the season to complete the rout, the United players had given up the ghost, with that fine finish in the end of a Sigurdsson pass meaning United have conceded more goals (48) than they have in any league season in 40 years.
The rest of the match was party time for Everton, who secured a fourth win in five at a canter, while United’s sixth defeat in eight, which came about having had just one shot on target, in the 87th minute, leaves their top four hopes hanging by a thread.
Sigurdsson of Everton celebrates scoring the second goal with team mate Richarlison during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.Getty Images
Was Solskjaer appoint too soon? Having come in and gone on an 11 match unbeaten streak when taking over from Jose Mourinho, there would have been mutiny around Old Trafford had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer been overlooked to be permanent manager, but was the timing of his appointment, with the benefit of hindsight, somewhat questionable? Since Solskjaer got the job full-time, United have lost four out of six, and look a team shorn of ideas, direction and any form of gameplan. Why not wait until the end of the season, and let Solskjaer prove his worth until all is said and done? It was not like any other club were in to snatch the Norwegian? He could well turn things around, and deserves time, but if United’s woeful form continues, the doubts will only intensify as to whether Solskjaer is the right choice.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gylfi Sigurdsson. Close between him and Lucas Digne, but for a goal and an assist, while creating double the amount of chances of anyone on the pitch at Goodison, Sigurdsson just edges it. His goal out of nowhere killed any lingering hope of a United comeback, against a side he has been involved in more goals against (9) than any other Premier League club.
Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton celebrates scoring the second goal with team mate Richarlison during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.Getty Images
11’ - SAVE! David de Gea back to his best there, as he brilliantly denies Richarlison after Idrissa Gueye's cross had fallen for the Brazilian in the box. Richarlison got a second bite of the cherry but dragged his effort wide.
13’ - GOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!!! Everton 1-0 Manchester United. Richarlison is not be denied this time as he acrobatically volleys the opener. The warning signs were there for United, but they fail to clear a long throw, Calvert-Lewin flicks it on, and Richarlison is there to hook the ball into the net over his head. Awful start from United this.
20’ - OVER! Lovely ball over the top from Pogba lands into the path of Rashford, who tries to hook the ball back where it came with his right foot, but cannot find the target.
28’ - GOOOOOALLLLLL!!!! Everton 2-0 Manchester United. Gylfi Sigurdsson fires a thunderbolt into the net from distance to double the hosts' advantage. Corner for United, Everton clear, counter at pace, the ball falls for Sigurdsson, who is allowed far too much time to shoot for goal from fully 30 yards, with the fierce strike drilled into the bottom corner, beating De Gea who really should do better.
56’ - GOOOOAAALLLLL!! Everton 3-0 Manchester United. Disaster for United as Digne slams home a brilliant strike to make it three. What a dreadful afternoon this is turning out to be for United. De Gea punches the corner clear, only as far as Digne, who fires through the crowd of players and into the bottom corner from 25 yards. Great strike.
59’ - OFF THE LINE! Corner comes in from Sigurdsson, it beats the man at the near post, and De Gea is forced to hook the ball clear off his own line with his feet.
64’ - GOOOOOAAALLLLL! Everton 4-0 Manchester United. My word, this gets worse for United, with Walcott making it four. What on earth is going on here? Dalot misses his clearance, Everton break, Sigurdsson threads it through for Walcott, who slots home his fourth of the season.
71’ - CLOSE! As close as United have come, with Martial darting into the box, cutting inside before firing just wide on his right foot.
Lucas Digne (R) of Everton celebrates scoring his side's third goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 21, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.Getty Images
- This was Everton’s biggest margin of victory over Manchester United in any competition since October 1984, when they beat them 5-0 in a top-flight contest. It was also Man Utd’s biggest defeat to any opposition since October 2016 against Chelsea in the Premier League (also 0-4).
- This was Manchester United’s fifth consecutive away defeat across all competitions, their longest such run of losses since March 1981 under Dave Sexton (also five).
- Everton have won more Premier League points at home to the “big-six” clubs this season (10 – P6 W3 D1 L2) than any other team from outside the top six in the table, with only Man City (15), Liverpool (13) and Chelsea (11) earning more overall at home to such opposition.
- Everton have now won four of their last seven home league games against Manchester United (D1 L2); they had only won three of their first 20 Premier League games against them at Goodison Park before this (D3 L14).
- Only Andrei Kanchelskis (15 in 1995-96), Yakubu (15 in 2007-08) and Romelu Lukaku (15 in 2013-14) scored more Premier League goals in their debut season with Everton than Richarlison has this term (13).