Questions Abound After United’s 1-1 Draw With Everton at Old Trafford

Up Where We Belong

Manchester United’s poor performance and amateurish rotation choices let Everton leave Old Trafford with a 1-1 draw on Saturday. The minute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s match day squad was announced an audible groan was heard throughout Old Trafford.

This time it was not just the defective pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred that left fans scratching their heads. Ole decides it’s best to leave in form Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba on the bench and gives Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani their first starts. 

Games are coming thick and fast this season and you need to carefully rotate your squad to ensure the least amount of player injuries and to keep from running players into the ground. Starting an out of form Martial and Cavani is just not the answer.

This is the last match before the international break, you need to start Ronaldo and Pogba and sub them once you go up two goals. Or at the very least, start an in form Jessie Lingard with Cavani. Martial has looked like a shadow of his former self in his one and only sub appearance earlier this season.

Martial Gives United The Lead

United started the match strong with Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw looking threatening down the left. Aaron Wan-Bissaka provided a great looking cross early in the 6th minute for Martial, who jumped early and missed a clear goal. Martial’s “ring rust” would take some time to wear off in the match.

Despite United starting strong, Everton would slowly start to catch United out at the back with sloppy passes and what is becoming a norm, giveaways in our own half.  

Just before the end of the first half United would get on the score sheet through Martial. Some lovely build up play from Wan-Bissaka and Greenwood with a deft touch from Fernandes allowed the Frenchman to open his body up for an angled shot past Jordan Pickford in goal.

Everton Level

United started the second half in control with Everton looking helpless. In the 56th minute Ole brings on Ronaldo and Sancho for Martial and Cavani. This was the Portuguese superstar’s 200th Premier League appearance and he played like he wanted to mark the milestone with a goal. Making runs behind and getting himself open whenever possible. Sancho looked lively on the right, dribbling past defenders and getting others involved in attack.

From a cleared United corner the ball makes its way to Demarai Gray who brushes Fred aside not once but twice. The Brazilian looked incredibly weak as Everton broke at pace down the middle. Abdoulaye Doucoure passes to an open Townsend who fires a shot low beating David De Gea. Everton looked to have some life breathed into them, counter attacking United at will. Ole decides to shore things up in midfield and puts Pogba on for Fred.

Everton thought they had scored the winning goal in the 85th minute after getting undone by another counter attack. Yerry Mina has his easy tap in taken back because he was offside. Ole and the rest of Old Trafford breathed a sigh of relief after that.

It was a tense final 15 minutes with United’s final opportunity being a weak shot from Sancho saved by Pickford. It was a weak effort all around by United and Ole set the team up to fail with his team selection. The International Break couldn’t have come at a better time for United with a tough run of fixtures to come. 

Man Utd will have a tough October and early November. This is their upcoming fixtures: Leicester City, Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham, Atalanta and Manchester City.

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