Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton on Sunday, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first-half opener was cancelled out by a late Leighton Baines penalty at Goodison Park.
The Reds had controlled much of the game, both in terms of possession and chances created, but the frustrating result leaves Jose Mourinho’s sixth in the Premier League table on 21 points, just above the eighth-placed Toffees.
A positive to note before the match was the return of summer signing Eric Bailly, who was named on the bench and in the squad for the first time since suffering an injury at Chelsea on 23 October.
A period of silence preceded the match as respects were paid to the 75 people, including members of Brazilian football team Chapecoense, who were tragically killed in a plane crash in Colombia earlier in the week. The travelling Reds supporters also displayed a banner that emphasised the club’s support.
Paul Pogba returned to the United line-up as one of two changes after serving a one-match ban and he struck the first shot of the game wide from 20 yards on eight minutes. Gareth Barry, moments later, was then fortunate not to see a yellow card for a late challenge on Ibrahimovic, before the referee cautioned Marcos Rojo for a foul on Idrissa Gana Gueye following an underhit Ander Herrera pass.
Yannick Bolasie, a favourite among the Everton fans since signing from Crystal Palace in the summer, dragged a chance wide on 27 minutes when played in up the right wing by Romelu Lukaku. Another opportunity was missed shortly afterwards, when Ibrahimovic hit a 20-yard free-kick into the wall.
Barry’s every touch was met by chants of “City reject” from the United fans, and he received an overdue booking for a foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the half-hour mark.
The deadlock was broken on 42 minutes in dramatic fashion, as Ibrahimovic’s lob beyond the advancing goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg bounced onto the crossbar and then off the post before rolling over the line. Ramiro Funes Mori thought he had cleared the danger, until goal-line technology proved otherwise.
STATS AT HALF-TIME
Possession: Everton 38% United 62%
Total shots: Everton 4 United 4
Shots on target: Everton 0 United 2
Corners: Everton 2 United 2
Kevin Mirallas forced a superb save from David De Gea right at the beginning of the second half with Everton’s first shot on target. United were then denied a penalty when Baines appeared to handle the ball inside the area, before Anthony Martial hit a deflected shot over the bar from the left wing.
Ander Herrera, as part of another impressive central midfield performance, went close to doubling the advantage when his left-footed strike from six yards cannoned off the bar on 60 minutes.
The hosts then made all three of their changes within as many minutes, firstly for tactical reasons when ex-Reds midfielder Tom Cleverley was taken off in the middle of the park. The other two were enforced on manager Ronald Koeman, however, after Seamus Coleman and Bolasie both picked up separate injuries.
Toffees midfielder Gueye hit a rasping, 25-yard shot that brought a good save out of De Gea on 76 minutes and the Spain international impressed again seconds later, when punching substitute Mason Holgate’s header away from goal. Another Everton replacement, Enner Valencia, was also denied by De Gea on 82 minutes.
Marouane Fellaini entered the action on 85 minutes and quickly conceded a penalty, after fouling Gueye inside the area. Baines dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom left corner to claim a 1-1 draw, and although five minutes of injury time followed, neither side could snatch victory at the death on a dramatic afternoon.
STATS AT FULL-TIME
Possession: Everton 46% United 54%
Total shots: Everton 11 United 10
Shots on target: Everton 5 United 2
Corners: Everton 6 United 3
Everton: Stekelenburg, Coleman (Holgate 67), Funes Mori, Williams, Baines, Barry, Cleverley (Deulofeu 65), Gana, Bolasie (Valencia 68), Mirallas, Lukaku.
Subs not used: Joel, Jagielka, Barkley, McCarthy.
United: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Darmian, Carrick, Herrera, Mkhitaryan (Fellaini 85), Pogba, Martial (Rashford 82), Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Blind, Mata, Lingard.
Booked: Rojo, Fellaini, De Gea.