Home ยป Three things we learned as a dominant Manchester United cruise to 3-0 win vs. Everton

Three things we learned as a dominant Manchester United cruise to 3-0 win vs. Everton

by Derick Kinoti


Manchester United travelled to Goodison Park to take on an aggrieved Everton side who had just suffered a 10-point reduction brought against them by the Premier League.

Erik ten Hag had to be content with a place on the stands as he was serving a one-match touchline ban following a fourth booking of the season during the Luton Town game.

The Dutchman started Andre Onana in goal with a defensive four of Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw ahead of the goalkeeper.

Kobbie Mainoo started as United’s deepest-lying midfielder alongside Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes.

In Rasmus Hojlund’s absence, Anthony Martial led the line with Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho on either flank.

Here are three things we learned from Manchester United’s 3-0 win against Everton.

Outstanding performance from Mainoo

Ahead of the game, all eyes were on Mainoo after confirmation that he was in Unuted’s starting XI.

The midfielder enjoyed a very successful pre-season but his momentum was halted after picking up a devastating injury against Real Madrid.

He returned a few weeks ago but understandably, supporters have had to be patient to see the Carrington academy graduate return to action and make his mark – he did not disappoint at Goodison Park.

Mainoo was brilliant in his passing and how well he handled the ball. The United star kept possession well and almost certainly never lost it.

Especially in the opening 45 minutes, the 18-year-old was vital in relieving mounting pressure by virtue of the way he kept possession.

He regularly came deep to collect the ball from the back four before feeding it to his midfield partners or the forward players.

The thing that was perhaps most noticeable about Mainoo’s game was just how well he did under pressure. At times, he was surrounded by two or Everton players but he was not fazed – he calmly walked out of his duels with the ball.

Mainoo was strong in his actions and one could not tell he was making his first start in the Premier League.

The youngster was a defensive colossus. He came up with crucial blocks and interceptions without which, the Toffees could have possibly scored a few more goals.

During a period in the first half, Everton were putting United under pressure and looked set to find an equalizer after Garnacho’s wonder strike, but Mainoo’s brilliance in the middle of the park and in his defensive third kept them at bay.

The biggest compliment that can be paid to the dazzling Mainoo is that he significantly outperformed and outshone Fernandes and McTominay, who have hundreds of competitive appearances under their belts.

Compared to Mainoo, Fernandes and McTominay’s contributions were at a minimum. A very promising and dominant performance from the sensational Mainoo who has a bright future ahead of him.

United’s forwards back scoring goals again

Another huge positive from the game is that United’s forwards are back amongst the goals once more.

Before the game, the attacking players currently available to Ten Hag had just one Premier League goal between them – Rashford’s away goal against Arsenal at the Emirates on September 3.

However, only three minutes into proceedings in Merseyside, Garnacho found the back of the net with his fantastic bicycle kick that is arguably a goal-of-the-season contender.

11 minutes after the interval, Rashford who has been struggling for form doubled the Red Devils’ lead from the spot kick.

Martial won the penalty after being brought down by Ashley Young inside the Everton box. Fernandes unselfishly handed Rashford the penalty, seemingly to get his confidence back.

Martial clinched United’s third of the match to ensure whatever hopes Everton harboured of making an unlikely comeback were dashed.

The Frenchman produced a superb chipped finish to secure the win.

United’s forwards have come under intense scrutiny and criticism this season for failing to finish their chances but against Everton, they did well considering they didn’t have a lot to work with.

Before the match, Ten Hag told reporters that he was assertive his attackers would eventually click and start firing again.

The manager’s faith was certainly repaid in kind.

Hopefully, the goals now continue coming in plenty for the forwards who greatly needed the confidence with a number of crucial fixtures coming up.

There is still a place for Raphael Varane in this team

Among the players who did not cover themselves in glory was Lindelof.

More than once, the Swede was outdone by rival stars. Dominic Calvert-Lewin especially gave him a hard time all game.

Time and time again, Calvert-Lewin easily dispossessed Lindelof who appeared to be struggling with the Englishman’s physicality a bit.

Sean Dyche’s stars had chances to score and would have undoubtedly felt bad not to get even a consolation prize.

Luckily, Lindelof’s shortcomings did not cost United too much.

There has been plenty of talk about Varane’s exclusion, with Ten Hag preferring a partnership of Maguire and Lindelof.

If there is one thing to take from the game is that there is still a place in the team for the World Cup winner.

Ten Hag has said multiple times that Varane is still in his plans and gong off Lindelof’s display, it wouldn’t be outrageous to think that the former Real Madrid man can get his starting berth back.

He definitely brings about more calm, composure and steel in the backline.

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