(CTN News) – It was a well-earned 2-0 victory for Man United as Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial helped the hosts climb above Man United into third place in the Premier League.
It is Erik ten Hag’s Man United who are in the thick of the race to qualify for the top four, with 56 points from 29 games, three more than Newcastle, who have a game in hand, and six more than Tottenham Hotspur, with both teams playing later during the weekend.
Despite the defeat, Sean Dyche’s Everton remain in 16th place, outside the drop zone only on goal difference, and tied on 27 points with Nottingham Forest, in 17th place, and AFC Bournemouth, in 18th place.
United captain Harry Maguire told BT Sport it had been a great game and he was disappointed that the team had only gone into half-time 1-0 up. As a result, the game should have been over.
As a team, the lads started aggressively, we created chances after chances after chances, and I do not believe anyone would have any disagreements if the score had been three, four, or five.”
At a sun-soaked Old Trafford, United forced Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into duty early on and stayed in their half for the majority of the match.
The Blues could have broken the deadlock in the 12th minute when Antony’s shot rebounded off the post and found Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who missed an easy tap-in, sending the ball wide of the far post.
It was Ellis Simms who had Everton’s best opportunity in the 20th minute. While his shot beat the goalkeeper, David De Gea, it rolled just wide of the goal and Dyche buried his head in his hands.
When Jadon Sancho passed to McTominay, who was charging in close range, Man United were rewarded in the 36th minute.
As Bruno Fernandes nearly doubled Man United lead in the 67th minute, Pickford leapt to tip the ball over the crossbar.
With a cross from Marcus Rashford that found Martial alone in the box in the 71st minute, Rashford set up Martial’s goal on his 350th appearance for Man United in all competitions.
In spite of the absence of Casemiro, who completed a four-game suspension on Saturday, Christian Eriksen came on after 77 minutes for his first appearance since January 28 as he returned from an ankle injury.
It is important to note that Everton have only won once on the road this season, against Southampton in early October, but they have improved their results in recent weeks, including a draw against Spurs on Monday.
As a result of Dyche’s appointment in January, Everton have lost only four of their last ten matches, including a victory over Arsenal, who lead the league.
Newcastle will visit Brentford later on Saturday, while Tottenham will host sixth-placed Brighton.