Manchester United have beaten Everton 2-1 at Old Trafford in a close contest. The home side took the lead when a saved penalty fell right back to Paul Pogba, who made no mistake the second time around. It would be two thanks to Anthony Martial, who curled in a beauty from distance at the start of the second half. Everton grabbed one back after Sigurdsson converted a penalty himself, but the Red Devils were able to hold on to secure the vital three points.
Mourinho made a big change to the side that lost to Juventus on Tuesday. Summer signing Fred returned to the starting lineup, coming into the midfield alongside Pogba and Matic. He came into the team at the expense of Lukaku, who was forced to settle for a spot on the bench. The lineup posted by the club indicated that Rashford would play centrally, with Martial and Mata either side of him. Alexis was kept on the bench to start, with the assumption that he had not fully recovered from his injury.
Before the contest, there was a minutes silence to reflect on the tragedy that took place at the King Power Stadium involving Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Everton started the game on the front foot, and whipped in a number of crosses that the United backline had to deal with.
The first chance fell to United, when Martial created space on the wing and dinked a ball to Mata. The diminutive Spaniard tried his best, but his header bounced right at the Everton keeper.
Martial was once again involved, cutting inside from the left wing. He got a shot off on the edge of area towards the near post, and forced a solid save out of Pickford.
The key moment of the contest came near the half hour mark, when Martial won a penalty. He dribbled at Gueye, who stuck out a leg and took the Frenchman down. He did get a touch on the bill, which made it a tough call for the referee.
Pogba stepped up to take the penalty, and went through his usual slow run up. His effort was saved well by Pickford, but the ball fell right back to him so he could tap it in. It was a fortunate way to take the lead, but the home side were the better team at the time.
Man U thought they had a second goal soon after, but had it taken off the board by the sideline official. Martial found Pogba in the box and had his shot saved by Pickford. The rebound fell right to Rashford, who tapped it in, but was correctly called offside.
The home side kept the pressure up, and started to create chance after chance. Fred got into space and ripped off a long shot on his weaker foot, but his effort flew just wide.
Everton came close to grabbing an equalizer when a Coleman cross picked out Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Icelandic international went for a diving header, but hit it right at De Gea.
They had another half chance when Walcott got in behind, and smashed a shot at the near post. De Gea reacted well, and got two hands up to make the save and force a corner.
United were able to make it two right at the start of the second half. Pogba picked up the ball and rolled a pass to Martial on the left wing. The winger opened up his hips, and curled a first time shot to the back post past the outstretched arms of Pickford. It was a gem of a goal, and could be a sleeper pick for goal of the season.
Everton absolutely should’ve grabbed one back when Ashley Young botched an offside trap. Bernard was the beneficiary who went through on goal. He was able to dribble past De Gea, but couldn’t finish the move, and his shot hit the outside of the side netting.
Rashford should’ve made it three himself soon after as well. He was played through on goal by Mata, but his touch took him wide. He still got a good shot off, but it was an easy enough save for Pickford.
The home side kept attacking, and created another dangerous chance. Mata picked out Pogba, who brought it down brilliantly to get a shot off. Unfortunately for him, Pickford did even better better, and got down quickly to make the big save.
Romelu Lukaku did get himself on the field at the hour mark, coming in for Marcus Rashford.
There would be a second penalty called 15 minutes from time, with this one being awarded to Everton. Richarlison got past Smalling, who completely took him out for no reason. It was a clear penalty, and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Sigurdsson stepped up, and put it past De Gea with a well taken penalty.
Lukaku had a big chance to restore the two goal lead and restore his confidence, but put an open header wide of the target.
Juan Mata came off the pitch for fellow Spaniard Ander Herrera to try and bolster the defense for the final 10 minutes of the game.
United had another chance to put the game to bed when Martial was played through on goal. He took way too much time with the ball, however, and had his chipped finish palmed away by Pickford. Before the following corner, Jesse Lingard came on for Fred.
Everton put on pressure late, but never created that big chance to try and tie the game up late. It was scary at the end, but United were able to pick up the win against an inform Everton side.
Manchester United’s next game is on Saturday, as the Red Devils travel to face AFC Bournemouth.