Manchester United and Everton shared the points in an entertaining 1-1 draw in the Premier League’s Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
David de Gea and Jordan Pickford were both forced into making good saves in an evenly contested first half. As it drew to a close Anthony Martial put United in front with a deflected shot after a lay-off from Bruno Fernandes.
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Everton were dangerous on the break throughout and scored a superb equaliser in the 65th minute as Demarai Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure set up Andros Townsend. Yerry Mina had a goal disallowed for offside with five minutes to go.
The result moves Manchester United into second and Everton into third.

TALKING POINT

Can United keep the back door shut? The attacking talent that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has assembled at Old Trafford is arguably the strongest in the Premier League. With the late addition of Cristiano Ronaldo to the squad, the firepower is surely there to challenge for the title.
What might undo United’s efforts are problems at the other end. They have kept just one clean sheet in 11 matches this season, and the lack of depth highlighted by their makeshift back four against Villareal on Wednesday night was painfully exposed.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Luke Shaw of Manchester United clashes with Jordan Pickford of Everton during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on October 02, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Pe

Image credit: Getty Images

Harry Maguire has no specified return date as yet and in several matches the now back in form David de Gea has been needed to make crucial saves to keep United in games. Whether United can tighten up at the back will make a significant difference in the title race and could determine whether they finish there or thereabouts.

MAN OF THE MATCH – Demarai Grey (Everton)

Gray is increasingly looking like a bargain for Everton. They picked him up for £1.7million from Bayer Leverkusen, and Gray has scored three times already and gave United constant headaches on the break today. His contribution to Townsend’s goal, where he outmuscled Fred and broke astutely down the left, earned a point for Everton.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea 6; Wan-Bissaka 6, Lindelof 6, Varane 7, Shaw 6; Fred 5, McTominay 7; Greenwood 6, Fernandes 7, Martial 7; Cavani 6
SUBS: Sancho 6, Ronaldo 6, Pogba 6
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford 6; Godfrey 6, Mina 7, Keane 6, Digne 6; Doucoure 7, Allan 7; Townsend 7, Gray 8, Gordon 7; Rondon 6
SUBS: Davies 6, Dobbin 6

KEY MOMENTS

6’ BIG CHANCE! Wan-Bissaka ghosts past Digne on the right corner of the area and stands up a delicious cross to the back post. Martial is free, but up too early, and can only glance the ball well wide from six yards out.
21’ CHANCE! A cross from the left - from Fernandes I think - finds Cavani in space near the penalty spot. He thunders a downward header at goal, but it's too close to Pickford who turns it around the post for a corner.
33’ GOOD SAVE! Gray glides past Fred in midfield and unloads a shot from 25 yards out. It's fierce but not quite in the corner, and De Gea gets a strong hand to the ball to bat it away.
43’ GOAL! Manchester United 1 (Martial 43) Everton 0 United area ahead, and it's a beauty. Greenwood fizzes a wonderful pass into Fernandes on the edge of the area, behind the Everton midfield. He looks up and lays it off to Martial on the left of Everton's area. Martial steams onto it like Carlos Alberto, and sidefoots a shot that catches a slight deflection and flies past Pickford high into the net.
65’ GOAL! Manchester United 1 Everton 1 (Townsend 65) Everton are level! They've been dangerous on the break all day and eviscerated United here. Gray bullies Fred off the ball as Everton clear the corner and breaks down the left. He finds Doucoure in United's half, who lays it off to Townsend, haring through on goal and unmarked. He drills an unstoppable low shot into the bottom corner, and we're all square!
85’ DISALLOWED GOAL! Oh my! Sancho jumps out of a tackle as United clear a corner, and suddenly Tom Davies is in on the right of the area. He should shoot, but instead slides it across to Mina who taps it into the net. He's offside though, by half a yard, and it's chalked. Why didn't Davies shoot?

KEY STAT

  • Manchester United have failed to keep a clean sheet in a home league match for nine games in a row, their worst run in the top division since 1971.
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