Manchester United strengthened their Champions League hopes with a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Everton in the Premier League.
The Red Devils had to be patient in their pursuit of an opener, which eventually came through Scott McTominay in the 36th minute.
Anthony Martial then came off the bench to score United’s second, ensuring that Newcastle United have no hope of going above the Red Devils on points later on Saturday.
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The Red Devils made a whole host of promising chances, often cutting through Everton with ease and balls behind proving particularly effective in the first half.
They were also able to maintain periods of good possession. In addition, the team looked confident in defence throughout, doing especially well when dealing with crosses into the box.
The task became pretty routine after the second goal and it will be a plus to have Christian Eriksen back on the pitch.
Erik ten Hag will probably have been frustrated that there weren’t more goals in the first half, and that there was a dangerous lapse in concentration that allowed Ellis Simms to get into a very promising shooting position. United weren’t as dominant at the start of the second half and there will be concern after Rashford went off injured towards the end.
Manager rating out of 10
9 — Ten Hag made three changes to his back four with no signs of disruption as his side went on to keep a clean sheet for the second game in a row. The Dutch manager’s attack also looked exciting throughout and Martial scored soon after being introduced from the bench.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David De Gea, 6 – Didn’t have to do much and played a superb pass for Antony to run onto, but flapped at a cross. Comfortably saved Seamus Coleman’s shot from range.
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 8 – Missed an opportunity when Antony’s shot came back off the post but was brilliant outside of that moment, notably playing some imaginative passes and defending balls towards the back post well. Saw an instinctive shot saved in the second half.
DF Harry Maguire, 8 – Looked comfortable despite this being only his fifth league start of the season, playing some great balls up the pitch and holding off Demarai Gray after being put in an awkward position.
DF Lisandro Martinez, 7 – Was completely cut out by a one-two between Simms and Coleman for Everton’s big chance but was largely decisive outside of that, making some superb crosses. Hit a shot wildly off target.
DF Tyrell Malacia, 6 – Was sloppy at times in the first half and didn’t track Simms for the striker’s big opportunity, but looked stronger defensively in the second period. Hit an ambitious shot comfortably over.
MF Scott McTominay, 8 – Made some brilliant runs to get into promising positions, which eventually resulted in the midfielder translating his goal-scoring form for Scotland to club football as he scored the opener with an impressive finish. Did a good job of breaking up Everton’s play.
MF Bruno Fernandes, 8 – Played a whole range of lovely passes, including some to release Antony and Rashford behind the Everton defence. Also made a great tackle to stop Gray running through on goal. Could have done better with a couple of headers in the opposition box.
MF Antony, 6 – Made plenty of good runs behind the Everton defence but wasn’t clinical enough after getting into promising positions. Played a ball behind Rashford, took too long and let Ben Godfrey make a recovery tackle, while he was also denied by impressive saves from Pickford.
MF Marcel Sabitzer, 6 – Made intelligent runs into the box that earned him some promising shooting opportunities but never stretched Pickford. Played a lovely pass for Fernandes’ headed chance.
MF Jadon Sancho, 7 – Had some really bright moments, including when he left two Everton players on the floor with a piece of skill, and added the all-important final pass as he threaded the ball through for McTominay to open the scoring.
FW Marcus Rashford, 7 – Wasn’t able to mark his 350th match for United with a goal as he was wasteful at times, but made good runs and did well to keep possession in the build-up to McTominay’s goal, then capitalised on Coleman’s error to set up Martial.
Anthony Martial, 7 — Replaced Antony in the 60th minute and coolly finished for the goal that offered his side extra breathing space.
Fred, N/R – Replaced Sabitzer in the 77th minute and was neat in possession, doing well to keep the ball before being fouled by Tom Davies.
Christian Eriksen, N/R – Replaced Sancho in the 77th minute for his return from injury and slotted in nicely, playing some lovely passes, but saw a couple of shots blocked.
Wout Weghorst, N/R — Replaced Rashford in the 81st minute and pressed well as he worked hard for the team.