Anthony Gordon’s deflected first-half strike gave Everton a huge win over Manchester United at Goodison Park against a visiting side who looks about as tepid as it has in the last 20 years.
Everton rebounds from an awful midweek to beat a United team who often looked like it was the team that played an emotional, rain-soaked match at Turf Moor on Wednesday. The Toffees pull Frank Lampard four points clear of the relegation zone before 18th-place Burnley plays Norwich City.
Meanwhile, the Ralf Rangnick era can’t end soon enough at Old Trafford unless the hierarchy has asked him to miss out on Europe altogether. Marcus Rashford looks a rusty shell of himself and Cristiano Ronaldo mostly looks like a professional napper, as another good day from Bruno Fernandes — three key passes — was wasted by his teammates.
United now sits seventh with 51 points, just two more than Wolves, and is in serious danger of missing out on European football next season.
Everton vs Manchester United final score, stats
Everton 1, Manchester United 0
Scorers: Gordon (26′)
Shot attempts: Everton 7, Manchester United 12
Shots on goal: Everton 3, Manchester United 4
Possession: Everton 33, Manchester United 67
Three things we learned from Everton vs Manchester United final score
1. Pickford pays off and luck matters: : Everton keeper Jordan Pickford has been very good — for England — for years while his club form has not given much inspiration. But the Toffees got two very good saves out of him in the first 15 minutes when their nerves were most-frayed, and Pickford had little trouble with the series of uninspired final-third passes from United. The England keeper made a fine stop on a deflected shot from Cristiano Ronaldo in stoppage time and definitely deserves the plaudits coming his way. As for the luck part, it took a series of errors from both teams just to cue up Gordon’s goal, which fittingly took a wicked turn to beat David De Gea. But Everton’s not going to care what a goal looks like at this stage — or what Manchester United looks like — just that the score line says they beat the Red Devils and moved closer to safety.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo switches off until stoppage: Yeah he tracked back once and had a decent run toward an Alex Telles cross, but the extent of Cristiano Ronaldo’s day prior to stoppage time was racking up bored or annoyed camera shots (and frankly, that’s more about the effort from the people with the cameras). Realizing he could be a hero in stoppage, perhaps, the Portuguese megastar worked for a loose ball and nearly poked a deflected effort past Pickford for a tie. Snoozy. At least Marcus Rashford worked hard en route to his bad output.
3. Cross after cross after cross after (no ideas, Ralf?): Manchester United is bad right now. And if it isn’t bad, it’s static (which, of course, isn’t a very good descriptor for an attack-minded bunch, is it?). For a Starting XI with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, and Cristiano Ronaldo to turn into almost a one-trick pony of whipped-in crosses? Well, Jordan Pickford just lived at the near-post for most of the second half, challenging only by the decision of whether to punch or catch. As Rashford, who was poor, walked off the field without any acknowledgment from his manager (and vice versa) while Anthony Elanga got his latest inexplicable chance to shine under Ralf Rangnick, we saw the latest example of why the Rangnick era can’t end quick enough at Man United.
Man of the Match: Jordan Pickford — Say what you will about his mystifying club form compared to his strong national team work, but Pickford made big saves, controlled the clock, and also kept hold of United’s dozens of crosses. Big day from the loud keeper.
Take ’em as they come
Everton’s not very good in attack outside of Richarlison, especially with Dominic Calvert-Lewin out-of-form.
After getting a pair of soft penalties in the 3-2 loss to Burnley, Everton’s only route to the score sheet versus Man United was a perfect storm of imperfect play.
First there was a Man United giveaway that was nearly wasted by a mishit entry pass to Richarlison.
Then United only partially dealt with a recovering Richarlison’s cross.
Then Anthony Gordon’s hit-and-hope took a wicked turn off a flinching Harry Maguire to wrongfoot David De Gea.Follow @NicholasMendola