Ole Gunnar Solskjær on Everton draw
Ole Gunnar Solskjær spoke about bad decisions that led to Everton’s equaliser and defended his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting 11.
It was a fast start for the Reds at home, despite sporting a lineup that left many fans scratching their heads. Ronaldo, Sancho, and Pogba were both dropped to the bench, McFred started in midfield, and Cavani led a front 3 that included Martial and Greenwood on the flanks.
United controlled the opening 20 minutes but didn’t manage a shot on target until the 21st. Cavani got on the end of a cross by Fred to head towards the corner of Pickford’s net, but the England number 1 was equal to it with a diving save. Everton began to take control around the half-hour mark, and efforts by Doucoure and Gray were denied by Wan-Bissaka and Varane.
Gray nearly scored on another chance, but De Gea once again showed good form as a shot-stopper by diving to his right to make the save. It was a worrying period from United, but they responded well in the final five minutes of the half. Martial got his side in front with his first goal of the season in the 43rd minute, played in by Bruno Fernandes, who drew in the right-back and opened space for the Frenchman to run in for a clear chance on Pickford’s net.
The second half was more of the same from United, controlling possession and teasing chances on goal. The goalscorer Martial and Edinson Cavani were withdrawn 10 minutes into the half to bring on Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo respectively, but fortunes turned for the worse soon after.
An Everton counter-attack with United exposed saw Andros Townsend equalise, slotting home against a helpless De Gea five minutes past the hour mark. United pressed to get back in front, and Ronaldo had a chance flashed just wide, but they couldn’t find the final ball needed.
Everton kept looking for chances of their own as well, and had a goal ruled out for offside in the 85th minute. United were lucky to avoid what could have been a knockout blow late in the match. In the final minutes United searched and searched for another late winner. Sancho scuffed a shot set up by Ronaldo in the final minute of the 90, and 4 minutes of stoppage time were given soon after, but it ended up being the last real chance. Both sides had the opportunity to go top of the table at the start of the match week, but the points were split.
United had control most of the match but couldn’t add to their lead. A sloppy moment of transition defense led to an equaliser that they couldn’t recover from, and a stretch of worrying performances continues into the international break.
Martial (43′), Townsend (65′)