Leighton Baines scored a dramatic late
penalty to add to Jose Mourinho’s problems
as Manchester United were held to a 1-1
draw at Everton on Sunday.

Former Everton star Marouane Fellaini had
only been on the field for two minutes as a
United substitute when he tripped Idrissa
Gueye unnecessarily and Baines made no
mistake with a clinically-taken 89th-minute
penalty.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had produced the only
moment of quality in a disappointing first
half, when he gave United the lead three
minutes before the break, although the goal
was as much a result of a mistake by Maarten
Stekelenburg.
The Everton goalkeeper rushed out of his
area, for no obvious reason, to try and beat
Ibrahimovic to a hopeful through ball by
Anthony Martial.

And Ibrahimovic, a former team mate of
Stekelenburg with Ajax, cleverly lobbed the
ball over the keeper and towards the open
goal, the ball bouncing against the crossbar
and the right-hand post before referee
Michael Oliver judged it had crossed the line
with the aid of goal-line technology.

United are now 13 points behind leaders
Chelsea as their poor run extended to one
win in their last eight league games.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman would
have been angered that such an obvious
individual error cost his team so dearly and
would also have had cause for complaint
over Oliver’s handling of an earlier appalling
challenge from Marcos Rojo.
The United defender launched a flying, two-
footed challenge on Gueye, but Oliver
somehow judged it was only worthy of a
yellow, rather than the obvious red it
deserved.

Those were the only noteworthy incidents of
the first period as United looked to improve
on an indifferent run of two wins from their
previous 10 league games.

Yannick Bolasie took up promising positions
down the right flank but found his crosses
dealt with effectively by the visiting defence,
Phil Jones in particular.
Following Rojo’s yellow card, Kevin
Mirallas’s resulting free-kick found Ashley
Williams, who headed back for Tom
Cleverley to volley straight up in the air from
a promising position.

– Foothold –

And, as United started to gain a foothold in
the game, Ramiro Funes Mori tripped
Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the edge of the
Everton area and Ibrahimovic placed a tame
free-kick directly into the home wall.
Koeman resisted the temptation to make
changes at half-time and was almost
rewarded with an early equaliser as Romelu
Lukaku showed his strength to hold up the
ball outside the United area before playing in
Mirallas.

The midfielder advanced into the visitors’
area only to see his shot kept out by the
outstretched leg of goalkeeper David de Gea.
Ander Herrera almost doubled the lead on
the hour after Michael Carrick’s right-wing
cross reached him and his first-time shot
struck the Everton crossbar.
Ibrahimovic had been fortunate to escape a
booking when he tangled with Seamus
Coleman and caught the defender in the face
as they lay on the pitch, an incident which led
to the Everton man being replaced on 67
minutes.
Koeman brought on youngster Mason
Holgate and, soon, Enner Valencia having
already thrown in Gerard Deulofeu and the
triple substitution brought about a marked
improvement.

On 75 minutes, Gueye unleashed a powerful
shot, from the edge of the area, which de Gea
parried and saved at the second attempt.
And minutes later, a free-kick from Deulofeu
caused United major problems as Holgate
met it with a stopping header that forced de
Sea into another fine stop.
Fellow substitute Valencia almost came close
to an equaliser as he rose to meet a Holgate
cross but headed directly at de Gea on his
goal-line.

And, as Everton’s late rally brought their
equaliser, they might have claimed a
stoppage-time winner as Baines’ fierce shot
was well stopped by de Gea at the foot of his
post.


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