Everton – Manchester United: Toffees Toil To A Home Win Over Dire Devils (1-0)

Everton picked up three huge points at home to Manchester United, with Anthony Gordon’s deflected strike the only goal of the game. This was a game devoid of quality, with Manchester United falling even further back in the race for a top-four finish, whilst Everton opened up a four-point gap between themselves and Burnley.

Tactical analysis and match report by Harshal Patel.

Everton were seemingly sleepwalking towards relegation before this fixture, having lost eight of their nine league games since Frank Lampard’s appointment. The latest setback had come against Burnley, their direct rivals in the relegation battle, who defeated them 3-2 at Turf Moor to move just one point behind them. Everton had shown that they were certainly not ‘too good to go down’, and Lampard needed every ounce of the energy that Goodison Park could provide for Manchester United’s visit.

Things were not much better for Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United, far higher up the table though they may be. Having crashed out of the Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Atletico Madrid, United then proceeded to only draw against Leicester City at home, putting them further back in the reckoning for a top-four spot. Arsenal’s loss to Crystal Palace in mid-week gave United a chance to close the gap, but their recent form did not fill fans with confidence.

Lampard made four changes to the side that had lost to Burnley. Michael Keane and Séamus Coleman returned to the defense in place of Jarrad Branthwaite and Jonjoe Kenny, with Fabian Delph and Alex Iwobi coming into the midfield to replace Mason Holgate . . .

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