Manchester United received a major blow to their top four aspirations as Everton handed them a thumping 4-0 defeat at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The match could not have begun on a worse possible note for Manchester United, who were behind just 13 minutes in as they failed to deal with a long throw from Lucas Digne. As the ball found its way well into the box, Richarlison produced a fantastic acrobatic effort to break the deadlock.
Everton were then two to the good midway through the first half as Gylfi Sigurdsson finished off a counter-attacking move with a beautifully placed long-range effort. The Toffees continued to look the stronger of the two sides thereafter, but were unable to add to their advantage heading into the break.
Post the interval, however, Everton continued piling on the pressure and got their third goal when Digne produced a beautiful volley from outside of his boot that David de Gea did not have any answers for. A few minutes later, the win was rounded off when Theo Walcott finished past de Gea after being put through on goal by Sigurdsson.
Manchester United thus, suffered their heaviest defeat of the season, with the result putting a dent in their bid to qualify for the Champions League, especially when losses suffered by Tottenham and Arsenal had given them hope. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
David de Gea: 4/10
Not particularly culpable for any of the goals, de Gea could have done very little to keep out any of the four efforts from Everton. His poor punch did end up with the third goal after the ball had found its way to Lucas Digne, but that was only a minor error. Made a couple of fine saves to keep the score from becoming more embarrassing.
Victor Lindelof: 4/10
Another game that saw him start as a right-back. Playing out of position does seem to be affecting Manchester United’s best defender of the season, with the pace of Bernard leaving him huffing and puffing. Looked a lot more comfortable after returning to the heart of the defence in the second half.
Chris Smalling: 3/10
Smalling had small roles to play in half of the goals scored by Everton. For the first, he surprisingly got outjumped by Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Terrible positioning for Walcott’s goal, before he was also beaten for pace. A rare poor outing by Smalling, who has recently been solid.
Phil Jones: 4/10
Starting a second successive game, Jones did not particularly do much wrong and committed into tackles on a couple of occasions in dangerous areas. But, he saw his participation being cut short by a knock sustained in the first half. The injuries continue to frustrate.
Diogo Dalot: 4/10
With Ashley Young dropped, Diogo Dalot was preferred on the left. But, the young full-back was unable to make the same sort of impact in the final third as a left-back that he does on the opposite flank. Found wanting at the back as well, where he needs to make massive improvements before he becomes a regular. Caught sleeping for the first Everton goal, with Richarlison pouncing on the opportunity.
Coming off a forgettable outing against Barcelona, Fred seemed to have started in stable fashion. But, he tapered off dramatically soon after, with Idrissa Gueye dominating their personal battle. Wayward passing did not help his side’s cause, which ultimately helped Everton assert their dominance. Needs to be more consistent.
Nemanja Matic: 1/10
Back into the side after a month, Matic was the big selection mistake made by Solskjaer. Starting in place of the impressive Scott McTominay, the Serb wasn’t nearly as energetic, which meant the hosts overran him with ease. The lack of energy also proved costly midway through the first half as his casual jogging enabled Sigurdsson to take aim at goal and score. A shell of his domineering self from three months ago.
Paul Pogba: 5/10
The numbers might not paint the complete picture, but one look on the game would show that Pogba was the only one who was trying to make things happen for Manchester United. While he was sloppy on the ball at times, the Frenchman ended up creating three chances, one of which should have been scored from.
Marcus Rashford: 3/10
Another game that saw Rashford’s struggles continue. Despite a rest during last month’s international break, the English striker has been unable to return to his best, with his movement lacking intelligence. Cannot be faulted for effort, but the end product left a great deal to be desired.
Romelu Lukaku: 4/10
Lukaku was another player who tried his best. But, with Manchester United unable to create sustained pressure, the Belgian invariably found himself being increasingly isolated. When he did get on the ball, his hold-up play could not measure up, although that is nitpicking on a tough day at work.
Anthony Martial: 3/10
From a valiant trier to someone who did not seem to make any effort. Martial’s awful form shows no sign of letting up, with the Frenchman frustratingly static when he did not have the ball. When he did, he almost always ran into a defender and a dive in the second half summed up his recent failures perfectly. Ought to have closed down Digne for his goal as well.
Ashley Young: 3/10
On at half-time, Young continued to struggle, having been caught out of position for Walcott’s goal.
Scott McTominay: 5/10
Introduced in place of Fred, McTominay showed a lot of energy and desire. And, while the game was already lost, he never stopped trying for his side. Needs to be trusted more.
Andreas Pereira: N/A
On for the last 15 minutes or so, Pereira made no impact whatsoever, with Manchester United limping to the result.