David De Gea
Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo
Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial
Subs: Blind, Carrick (74’ – Schweinsteiger), Depay, Fellaini (81’ – Herrera), Lingard (46’ – Mata), Pereira, Johnstone
The game started with a minute’s applause for the late Howard Kendall, considered to be Everton’s greatest ever manager.
Manchester United took kickoff and both teams managed to get a few half chances in the first 10 minutes. Martial went on one of his trademark runs past the defence but Everton got back and covered well.
Rooney found himself alone and on the edge of the box. He shoots the ball on goal but it brushes millimetres past the post.
On the 18th minute Tim Howard pulled off a fantastic reaction save to deny the tame header of Ander Herrera from inside the box. This resulted in a corner.
The initial corner, from Juan Mata, was a short one-two with Herrera, which then developed into a cross. Naismith’s attempted clearance fails and falls to Rojo. Rojo hits an awkward shot in, which Smalling then chests down into the path of Morgan Schneiderlin.
Schneiderlin makes no mistake and places his effort to the back post, besting Howard and sending United in the lead.
Everton 0 – 1 Manchester United
Everton didn’t get much of a breather, just 4 minutes later, during which Everton were attempting to keep possession to slow the game down, a huge foul on Martial led to some excellent refereeing by Moss, who allowed Rojo to run on with the ball.
The Argentinean reached the edge of the box and curled in a great cross which Herrera headered into the ground, past Tim Howard, and into the roof of the net.
Everton 0 – 2 Manchester United
Manchester United's second goal. Marcos Rojo on a great run with a strong header from Herrera to finish the… https://t.co/PZufmJBXS0
— Ben Chopping (@Sport_Gecko) October 17, 2015
Despite playing on the left, Martial was a huge threat all game, and managed to complete 7 dribbles. If he managed to get on the score sheet he would have been Man of the Match.
On great show of the young Frenchman’s supreme vision was in the 42 minute. He zipped into the box, beyond the defence, to latch onto a pass. He then unleashed one of his patented low drives towards goal, but Howard denied him.
Everton’s best and most dangerous player of the day was Ross Barkley. Just before half time, a rebound fell to him on the outside of the box. He rifled a shot in which required an emphatic save from De Gea.
Upon kick off Juan Mata was subbed off for Jesse Lingard.
Everton came out firing, putting Manchester United under a lot of pressure. United’s keeper was forced to make a number of saves from the likes of Barkley, Lukaku and McCarthy.
Possibly the best of the bunch was a drilled shot from Lukaku, which went through traffic, and David De Gea just managed to get his toe on it. Pulling out one of his old trademark saves from before he could catch the ball.
Just past the hour mark, United broke away through Schneiderlin, who did an exceptional job of keeping the Everton midfield at bay. The Frenchman sent Herrera running down the right; he then played a precise ball into to Rooney.
Rooney received the ball just past the line of defence as he powered towards goal, out pacing the lot of them. He then squared up to the goal and coolly slid the ball into the back of the net.
Everton 0 – 3 Manchester United
Great ball through by Herrera and a cool finish by Wayne Rooney #mufc https://t.co/Yt70EJzopT
— Ben Chopping (@Sport_Gecko) October 17, 2015
In the 74th and 81st minute, Carrick and Fellaini were brought on for Herrera and Schweinsteiger just to see out the game.
In the last half hour of the game, Barkley continued to be a threat, as did Martial and Rooney, but no more goals were scored and the game ended in United winning 3-0.
For his assist and goal, Ander Herrera was the man of the match. He also sustained a 93% pass success. The Spanish midfielder was far better suited the attacking midfielder role than Wayne Rooney has been.
On the flip side, Wayne Rooney also looked far better in his more natural striking role. He looked dangerous all game, worked in four shots on goal and scored.
The all English centre back pairing of Jones and Smalling looked a lot stronger than that of Blind and Smalling. With them both being very strong players, Lukaku was matched wherever he turned.
According to Louis van Gaal Juan Mata, who had a 92% pass success rate in the first half, was subbed off at half time for “tactical reasons”.
Despite Rojo and Herrera only recently returning from injury, they both looked very sharp, and a real left back’s presence in defence was a welcomed relief following the Ashley Young failing against Arsenal.
As mentioned before, despite playing out wide, Anthony Martial was a constant threat, ploughing into the box, unleashing shots and terrifying the Everton defence.
The fielding of Morgan Schneiderlin did worlds of good to the team. He is a must play in every big match up. Forget the squad rotation; he is the only midfielder who can protect the defence.
The Frenchman put in 4 big tackles in the game and kept a 97% pass success rate. He was immense.
Manchester United retain their place in 3rd, as Arsenal beat Watford 3-0 today, and look forward to their next match. They play CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in midweek.