Everton (Fellaini 63′) 1-1 Manchester United (Fletcher 22′)
Stadium: Goodison Park, England
Competition: English Premier League
Date: 25 October 2008
Kickoff: 12:00 BST, 7:00 ET
Everton mounted an impressive second-half comeback and earned a hard-earned, 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the live-blog, and feel free to leave comments below!
After a slow start to the season, Manchester United have won their last 3 Premiership matches (and last 6 matches overall), to climb to fifth place. The emerging partnership of Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov seems to be bearing fruit, while Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be almost 100% after off-season ankle surgery. United will have some health issues coming into this match, as Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand both missed the midweek Champions League clash against Celtic with injuries, while Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves are still recovering from their injuries (although if you believe the gossip, the perpetually injured Hargreaves might be on his way out – I find that hard to believe, I mean how many chances did they give Saha?). Nevertheless, with a deep roster and a renewed optimism, Manchester United will be confident that they can get past their northwest rivals.
As for Everton, any optimism left over from last season’s fifth-place finish has seemingly vanished as the club sits 16th in the table. The club has been unsettled since the start of their season, with takeover rumors running rampant and uncertainty over David Moyes’ contract. The instability seems to have affected the club’s form, and the club has only won twice thus far (against newly promoted Stoke and West Brom, no less).
Who will win? In-form Manchester United or out-of-form Everton? Will Manchester United overlook this match in advance of their big top-of-the-table clash next week with Hull City (Yes, you read that correctly)? Will Wayne Rooney score his 100th goal against his former team? Will Louis Saha, Phil Neville, and Tim Howard get revenge on their former squad? We shall see…
Everton: Howard, P. Neville (c), Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott, Arteta, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini, Yakubu, Saha.
Subs: Nash, Anichebe , Vaughan, Valente, Baines, Castillo, Rodwell.
Everton will start in the 4-4-2. Baines will drop to the bench to make way for the returning Yobo and Hibbert will miss out. Phil Neville will start at right-back after coming off the bench against Arsenal last weekend. Rodwell drops to the bench so that Saha can start for Everton. No, Manchester United fans, you read that correctly. Louis Saha will be spending all day in the training room and will be starting today. Then again, if he pulls his quad in warm-ups, I don’t think anyone will be surprised.
Manchester United: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Giggs (c), Fletcher, Park, Rooney, Berbatov.
Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, O’Shea, Evans, Anderson, Nani, Tevez.
Once again, Tevez will start on the bench as Rooney and Berbatov seems to be the preferred attacking duo. Ferdinand and Evra will return to the lineup after missing out on the midweek clash with Celtic with minor injuries. Brown will get his first start in a while as he seems to be working his way out of Sir Alex’s doghouse.
90′ + 6 No they won’t as we’re out of time. So long everyone and thanks to all that followed along. I’ll be back tomorrow for the big Chelsea/Liverpool clash.
90′ + 5 Free kick goes into the box, but Everton knock it away. Vaughn fouls Giggs outside the box and it will be a free kick for Ronaldo from about 30 yards out or so. It takes a deflection and United will get a corner.
90′ + 4 Everton throw into the box and Van der Sar has to knock it away. Fellaini gets a yellow for grabbing Berbatov and preventing the counter-attack.
90′ + 3 Everton will make another change as Saha will come off and Anichebe will come on.
90′ + 1 Four minutes of added time. Meanwhile, the P.A. announcer wants to remind visiting fans to behave themselves. She sounds pissed, too. And not in a sexy way.
90′ Nani’s cross goes out for a corner. Nothing doing on the corner.
89′ Lescott fouls Berbatov, but ref does not play advantage. United probably would have rather had that than the free kick.
88′ Vaughn comes on for Yakubu. Looks like Moyes is going for the win. Really, what choice does he have?
87′ Nani gets it in the box and sends it across the box to Ronaldo. Yobo whiffs on header and Ronaldo has a golden chance, but his shot isn’t even close.
86′ Dangerous play for Everton as Howard tries to kick it away, but Tevez blocks it. He used his hands, though, and it’ll go the other way. Nice block, though. Tevez looks like he’s ready to block punts and field goals in the NFL.
85′ Corner gets knocked around and Anderson has a chance, but loses his footing. Yakubu leads the counter-attack, but Brown fouls him in the open field and is booked for the challenge.
84′ Ronaldo gets behind the defense, but Yobo knocks it away for the corner. Great intervention there as it looked like Ronaldo was through.
83′ Brown with a poor giveaway and Pienaar gets it. United spring the counterattack and Ronaldo almost gets through. Lescott slows him up, though, and Howard kicks it away.
82′ Ronaldo gets it on the left wing, and he sends a cross towards the far post that eludes everyone. He expected Brown to make the late run, but Brown had other ideas.
81′ Great pressure from Everton right now. Meanwhile, the PA announcers are really cracking down, they’ve warned the rowdy fans twice in the last few minutes. It’s a local rivalry. What do you expect?
80′ Vidic concedes the corner on the long cross. Arteta whips in the corner, but it’s knocked away. Neville recovers it, but Evra knocks it out for a throw-in.
79′ Tevez finds Nani on the edge of the box, but Nani holds it and loses it. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Nani should have shot that one.
78′ Tevez will come on for Man Utd. for Fletcher. Tevez has had a knack for scoring late goals. He could really re-assert himself with one here.
77′ Fletcher is limping a little as he tried to save the ball from going out of bounds. Long cross from the left towards Saha on the far post. Evra gambles and heads it just behind Saha. That was dangerous.
76′ Brown knocks the corner away and United spring their attack. Ronaldo makes a run and lays it off to Nani. Nani tries to get around Lescott with some trickery, but Lescott knocks him to the ground. No foul, but it goes out for a Man Utd. throw-in.
75′ Fletcher gets behind the defense again, but Everton knock it out for a corner. Everton knock the corner away and go on the attack. Yakubu’s shot is deflected out by Brown for an Everton corner.
74′ Tame free kick by Ronaldo as Osman easily knocks it away. Arteta on the attack and he makes a good move to shake Brown. Arteta gets challenged by Nani and he goes down on the edge of the box. No call, though, and on the replay, it looks like it was a good no-call.
73′ Brown gets fouled right on the edge of the box. This will be a good free-kick chance for United. Giggs and Ronaldo are standing over it. Looks like it will be Ronaldo.
71′ Neville tries the long-range shot, and it’s well off the mark. Rooney goes off for Nani, which is probably the smart move. I think Ferguson knew what was coming. Why not bring on Tevez, though?
69′ Rooney gets booked for a hard challenge on Arteta. He invites more trouble by kissing his badge in front of the Everton fans. He’s getting close to the boiling point. He royally bitched Evra out for that cross a few minutes ago.
68′ Another back-pass form Ferdinand. This time, he makes sure it gets to Van der Sar. I haven’t seen Ferdinand play this poorly in a while.
67′ Anderson comes on for Park.
66′ Corner goes to Fellaini and he gets his head on it again, but it doesn’t have the power and United clear it away. United attack, but Evra’s cross is a poor one and it’s out for an Everton throw.
65′ Ferdinand makes another mistake (this is so unlike him) and he muffs the back-pass and gives Yakubu the golden chance. Van der Sar is able to get a paw on the shot and it bounces off the far post and United knock it out for a corner.
63′ GOAL! Ferdinand whiffs on the challenge as the ball takes a wicked bounce and eludes him. The ball goes to Pienaar, who takes the shot, but it’s blocked out past the touchline for throw. It’s out for a Everton throw-in and Neville sends a great cross from the right wing towards Fellaini, and he heads it past Van der Sar for the equalizer.
62′ Rooney gets it on the left edge of the box and tries to shoot, but Jagielka closes him down and blocks the shot easily. Methinks he’s trying too hard to get that 100th goal
61′ United knock it around a bit, as they look to cool off Everton’s momentum. No dice as they lose it and Everton go on the attack again. Osman tries to thread the through-ball to Yakubu, but Ferdinand and Vidic are there to stop it.
60′ Rooney is getting booed every time he touches the ball. Or are they saying “Roooo?”
59′ Evra fouls Yakubu and Everton have a free kick from about 35 yards out. They do the short kick and catch United napping. United are able to recover, though, and clear it away from danger.
58′ Everton with more pressure, but Pienaar sends it back and Giggs intercepts it.
56′ Uh-oh. Phil Neville loses any goodwill he still had with Sir Alex as he takes out Evra with a really hard tackle from behind. Then he takes out Ronaldo out with a studs-up challenge from behind. He’s lucky he didn’t get sent off. I’m not sure what he was thinking there. Even Giggs got in Phil Neville’s face for that. I wonder what Gary would have done.
55′ Much better pressure from Everton in this half. They’ve looked much more dangerous than United thus far. Arteta makes a good move down the left after Brown makes a terrible play (so much for moving out of the doghouse). Arteta takes it away and sends it to Fellaini, who takes the shot. It takes a wicked deflection, but Van der Sar is able to handle it.
53′ Everton with the pressure as Brown has to make the great defensive play to prevent Osman from getting it in the box. Neville lays it off to Pienaar on the right, but Pienaar’s ensuing cross goes out for a goal-kick.
52′ Jagielka gets booked for a hard foul on Berbatov after he went UFC and roundhouse kicked the 30 million pound man’s legs. Ouch. Chuck Liddell would be proud, assuming he’s recovered from getting knocked out by Evans.
51′ Arteta challenges Brown down the left and his cross is knocked away for a corner. Arteta’s cross goes into the box towards Fellaini. It goes back to Saha, who turns and fires, but is blocked by Brown. Brown has played very well today, and hopefully he’s out of the doghouse.
50′ It was a foul on Fellaini on Vidic. He elbowed him in the head, so there you go.
49′ Saha makes a great move to get around Vidic. Vidic recovers and forces Saha to give it up to Neville. The former Man Utd. man sends a cross towards the goal, but Ferdinand is there to knock it away. Everton get it back and Pienaar tries to make the run down the right flank, but he’s called offsides. Or was it foul on Fellaini? Not sure and neither are the commentators.
48′ Both men are on the pitch and seem okay. They show Berbatov and he looks like he’s barely broken a sweat.
46′ Everton kick off and we’re underway! Evra and Pienaar are both down after a strong challenge early on. Looks like they had a meeting of the minds.
46′ They’re showing Fletcher’s goal again, and I have to emphasize what a great play it was. Fletcher’s late-run into the box was perfectly timed and, since the defense were more concerned with Berbatov, Rooney, and Ronaldo, Fletcher was able to get in there and make the Toffees pay. If Fletcher can keep scoring like that, then he won’t have to worry about possibly going to a smaller club in order to get more playing time (a la Phil Neville).
Wow! You can’t turn away from this match for a minute! What a great match so far! Both squads are attacking and are playing at an excellent pace. United have a deserved lead, but Everton have played well and have generated a number of their own chances. United’s recent trend has been to break things open in the second half. We’ll see if that holds true today. In any case, let’s hope that the second half will be as action-packed as the first half was.
45′ + 1 Ronaldo gives it away and Everton play it long to Saha, who tries to lead the breakaway. Vidic tracks him down, though, and does a great job to close him down. Pienaar tries to cross it from the left wing towards the far post, but it’s knocked out by United for a throw. Neville is standing at the touchline, frantically waving his players forward before the whistle blows, but it’s too late and we’re at halftime.
45′ One minute added.
44′ Berbatov springs Park for a great run into the box. He’s got a lot of room to manuever, but he sends it out to Rooney. Or at least, he tries to since it’s well behind him and Everton go on the breakaway. They try the long-ball towards Saha, but Ferdinand heads it away. Ronaldo gets to the ball, but Phil Neville greets him rudely and is called for a foul.
43′ Osman tries the long-range shot, but Van der Sar easily catches it.
40′ The P.A. announcer asks Manchester United fans to sit down. Yeah, that’ll work. Meanwhile, Vidic makes a mistake on the edge of his own box and gives it away to Yakubu. Luckily for Utd., Yakubu’s shot is a terrible one and is well over the crossbar. He should have done better with that one. Maybe he was trying to hit those Man Utd. fans that refused to sit down.
39′ Almost #100 by Rooney as Park sends in a great cross between Yobo’s legs (that was pretty sweet, I have to admit). Rooney’s effort is knocked out by Jagielka for a corner. Poor effort on the corner as Howard easily takes it. Great play by Jagielka, who probably saved a goal there.
38′ Everton on the attack again. Pienaar sends in a nice overhead lob towards Saha, but Brown is there to defend it. Pienaar gets it back and tries the shot, but Yakubu is called offsides.
36′ Fletcher loses it and Arteta leads the break for Everton. Lescott tries to work on Brown, but he can’t get around his fellow England international. Pienaar rescues him and sends a cross from deep down the left flank towards the far post that eludes both Yakubu and Saha.
34′ Giggs makes another great run into box and tries to lay it off to Berbatov. Unfortunately, Berbatov cuts his run short and Everton are able to knock it away. They just weren’t on the same page there.
33′ Giggs passes up the open shot from the edge of the box and sends it to Rooney. Rooney’s header is a weak one, and it’s out for a goal-kick.
32′ Rooney makes a run into the box and he lays it off to Berbatov, who’s making the run to his left. Berbatov flips it nonchalantly on goal, and Howard easily takes it. Those are the kinds of things that give Berbatov’s critics ammunition.
31′ Neville sends the free kick into the box and it bounces near Yakubu. He can’t get on the end of it and eventually, Brown has to head it, strongly, towards Van der Sar. No repeat of the own-goal the last time Man Utd. visited Merseyside, though, and United escape.
30′ Vidic goes in with a dangerous tackle on Saha, and Saha is writhing on the ground in pain. Vidic gets a yellow. Saha is going to the sidelines for treatment. Man Utd. fans are used to seeing that.
29′ Great game so far. Both sides are attacking at break-neck speed. United deserve the lead, but Everton have had chances, too.
28′ Arteta and Fellaini try the one-two, but Vidic and Evra do some great defending to cut that out.
27′ Great chance for United as the ball bounces around in the box dangerously after the corner bounces between Howard and his defenders and Howard has to make a diving save. Everton clear it and they have a great counterattacking opportunity, but Brown makes the great tackle and saves United. Giggs then tries the long-range shot that curls just wide of the far post.
26′ Berbatov sends it to Ronaldo, who takes on two defenders and fires a long-range shot that forces Howard to make the diving save out of bounds for a corner.
25′ Fellani sends it to Osman, who tries to thread it through to Saha. Everton has numbers here, but Ferdinand gets to it first and knocks it away. Everton want a foul on Ferdinand, claiming Saha was impeded, but no dice.
24′ Arteta’s free kick goes into the box towards Yobo, who tries to head it on goal. It’s well off the mark, though, and it’s out for a goal kick.
23′ Well, you could see that one coming. United were cranking up the pressure until the goal was inevitable. Meanwhile Everton get a free kick in United’s half as Vidic fouls Saha.
22′ GOAL! More United pressure as Giggs finds Fletcher making a great run into the box. Fletcher continues his goal-scoring ways and he easily beats Howard. You can’t stop Fletcher, you can only hope to contain him…
21′ Free kick hits the wall again, but it goes out to Rooney. He tries the long-range shot, but it’s well wide of the near post.
20′ Fellaini knocks away the corner and Park gets fouled by Yakubu from about 35 yards out or so. Yak pulled him down by his collar. Can Ronaldo do better here?
19′ Saha knocks away the second corner attempt from Giggs and it’s out for a throw. Berbatov works on Lescott, but loses it past the touchline for an Everton throw. Poor giveaway from Everton and Ronaldo has a chance from the edge of the box. His shot goes off a defender for a corner.
18′ Giggs sends it in and Fletcher is unmarked at the near post. His header goes off a defender for another corner.
17′ Rooney finds Berbatov with a nice through-ball. Berbatov takes on two defenders and Lescott knocks it away for a corner.
16′ Ronaldo has a free kick from about 30 yards out, and he hits the wall. He’s been doing that a lot, lately. Maybe he’s bummed because Madrid said their pursuit of him is over. Until next year …
15′ Free kick is cleared away by Everton. United get it back and now Park is fouled.
14′ Nothing doing on the corner and United counterattack. Brown on the attack and he’s fouled by Fellaini in the Everton half of the field.
13′ Ronaldo tries to challenge Howard from long-range, but Howard is equal to the task. Everton with the attack now and Arteta sends a dangerous cross from the right to the far post where Yakubu is lurking. Before Yak can get on the end of that one, United are able to knock it out for a corner.
12′ Ronaldo, who’s moving fine now, finds Rooney with a cross, but Rooney loses the ball out of bounds for a goal-kick.
11′ Ronaldo goes down on the edge of the box, but no foul. Ronaldo limps as he gets up and pouts that he didn’t get the call. Rooney gets it on the left edge of the box and tries to find Berbatov or Ronaldo, at the far post, but it’s just beyond their reach.
10′ Good chance for Everton as they find space in the defense. Phil Neville springs Arteta with a nice lob down the right wing. Arteta lays it off to an unmarked Saha, who reels back and gets ready to uncork a rocket. Brown, however, comes out of nowhere and makes the great block.
9′ Ronaldo makes a nice run down the right and sends a cross towards the far post for Rooney. Howard steps in front and punches it away.
8′ Park gets around Osman with a nice move in the box. He goes for the shot and it’s well over the crossbar.
7′ Giggs takes it away and makes a run towards goal. He decides to take the shot, and it’s a weak one that’s easily saved by Howard.
6′ Fletcher’s long cross to Park is cut out by Phil Neville.
3′ Another good chance for Everton as Saha tries to play it through to Pienaar, but Ferdinand steps in and coolly knocks it away.
2′ Corner goes to Fellaini at the far post, but he’s well marked by Ferdinand and Vidic, and his header goes out for a goal-kick.
1′ Manchester United kick off, and here we go! Great pass into the box to Fellaini and his shot on goal results in a corner for Everton.
0′ If Rooney scores today, I wonder if he’ll celebrate it. It’s a milestone, after all. Plus, things didn’t end well between him and David Moyes (libel suits will do that, I guess). There could be a riot if he shows off his “Once a Blue, Always a Blue” shirt underneath his kit.
0′ Oh wait! Gary Neville isn’t starting! Oh well. I’m going back to sleep then! Just kidding….
0′ Can’t wait to see this match. Should be a real dandy! Will Rooney score his 100th against his old club? Will Tim Howard show up his old teammate Edwin van der Sar? Will Gary and Phil Neville make like the Gallagher brothers and start fighting during the match? Should be interesting to see!
0′ Hello everyone and welcome to Soccerlens’ coverage of the Manchester United v. Everton match! I’m Victor and I’m up bright and early on a Saturday so that I can be your live-blogger. I don’t even get up this early during the week.
It was a tale of two halves as United looked set to run away with the match after the first half, but Everton came out and really asserted themselves in the second half. They controlled the action and kept United on the defensive. They took advantage of some rare lapses by the United backline and deservedly got the equalizer. David Moyes should be proud of his team and time will tell whether this will be the jump-start to the season that they’ve been looking for.
As for United, these are two huge dropped points for them, especially with matches coming up with Hull City and Arsenal, two teams that currently sit ahead of them in the standings. They were shaky in defense, especially in the second half, but Ferdinand’s and Brown’s errors only explain so much. They were dominated in midfield as it looks like they really miss Carrick and Scholes (and, to a lesser extent, Hargreaves). Rooney’s selfish and impetuous behavior didn’t help and forced Sir Alex to remove his hottest offensive player prematurely. It’s not a disaster for United, especially since Everton are a quality team that were overdue for a good showing. But it certainly won’t help them as they try to catch Liverpool and Chelsea.
Man of the Match
Really, the honor should go to Everton’s entire midfield. Arteta played a great game in midfield and really put pressure on United’s back four all match long. Fellaini had the goal and worked well with Osman in the middle of the field to generate chances for his teammates. Pienaar worked tirelessly and also did a good job for Everton. Phil Neville also played well, but probably should have been sent off for his nasty double-challenge of Evra and Ronaldo in the second half. I think it’s safe to say that he’s off Sir Alex’s Christmas list. As for United, it was a great showing from Nemanja Vidic. With Ferdinand and Brown struggling, it was up to Vidic to keep the match from getting out of hand, and he did so.