Manchester United narrowly defeated Everton today thanks to two outstanding performances from Angel Di Maria and David De Gea. In a toughly fought contest, Di Maria scored the opener and assisted the second for Falcao to claim his first goal for the club as United ran out 2-1 winners. De Gea was in inspired form as he saved a first half injury-time penalty from Leighton Baines whilst securing the points for United with two brilliant saves late in the game from Leon Osman and Bryan Oviedo.
The opening to the game was fairly even with Everton enjoying the majority of the possession in the early stages but neither side created many clear cut opportunities. Di Maria scored the opener in the 27th minute with a calm finish after a layoff from Juan Mata. A clip of the goal can be seen here: https://vine.co/v/OKbFbD9jJHp
Di Maria has been an instant hit at Old Trafford as his flair and direct style of play has helped get United fans on the edge of their seats. It was nice to see Di Maria score with his unfavoured right foot, especially after critics have suggested he is often too one-footed on occasions.
The penalty was awarded after Luke Shaw clumsily took out Tony Hibbert after the Everton full-back made a rare burst into United’s box. Kevin Friend had no qualms about pointing to the spot to avoid the Toffees a penalty late in first half injury-time. De Gea pulled off an excellent penalty save, diving to his right to sent United into the break with a one goal lead. The penalty stop can be seen here: https://vine.co/v/OKb9OBbY3qr.
Everton started the second period brightly and deservedly equalized just 10 minutes into the half through Steven Naismith. The goal sent a shockwave around Old Trafford and many United fans were left wondering whether Everton would attempt to seize the initiative and attempt to secure the three points whilst United were still coming to terms with conceding the equalizer.
The winner came 7 minutes after Everton’s leveller as Angel Di Maria drove towards the back four and released an attempt at goal which ran into the path of Radamel Falcao who grabbed his first goal for the club. The goal was a deserved reward for Falcao and the relief was clear to see on the Colombian’s face as he celebrated in front of the East Stand with a knee slide and an ecstatic smile. His first goal for United can be seen here: https://vine.co/v/OKhZqa6xrUW.
United survived a late Everton siege to come away with all three points as David De Gea made two brilliant stops. The Spaniard dove low to his right to keep out Leon Osman’s shot after some nice build-up play from Everton and then deep in added-time he pulled out arguably the save of the season from Oviedo’s strike, as he shifted quickly across to his left to tip the attempt over the crossbar. On another day, United may well have lost this game and we certainly have David De Gea to thank. The three De Gea saves can be seen here: https://vine.co/v/OKhgYUnMaPV.
United now go into the International break in the Top 4, just 2 points behind Southampton in third but crucially ahead of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. With a tricky run of fixtures coming up for United, it was vital that they got the three points today and a Falcao goal will only help to boost the morale around Old Trafford.