Manchester United continued their climb to the fourth Champions League qualification spot as they held off Everton to record a 1-0 win. The international break might have come at the perfect time for United as they didn’t look all that jaded and it was Everton who looked quite a bit off.
Anthony Martial got the only goal of the game in the second half thanks to a great move and a cross from Fosu-Mensah. Everton though could have gotten an equaliser through Phil Jagielka, he once smacked the cross bar with a thunderous header and then David de Gea saved from point blank range to ensure United moved up to fifth in the table, just one point behind Manchester City.
United might have the chance to make it into Europe after all while Everton can’t seem to shake off their inconsistency. We look back at the game and list out the three things we learned from the game.
Everton would be in trouble without Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has scored 18 goals this season for Everton in the league. The Toffees have relied on the goals of the Belgian to lift them up but the rest of the squad have been extremely poor.
A shocking stat that came up was that Everton had only won four of their last 17 fixtures, a poor record for Roberto Martinez who did so well in his first season with the Merseyside club. Everton have also spent and brought in a lot of quality but it just is not working.
Martinez might have kept Everton safe this season from relegation but if he is not careful they could slip back to the time pre-David Moyes where the club spent a lot of time fighting off relegation. Romelu Lukaku could also be thinking his services could work better for a bigger club next season; it could end up being really bad for Everton next year unless Martinez bucks up and fixes a lot of holes in the team.
The race for the Champions League is on
Who would have thought that Manchester United would just be one point behind City in the race for the top four? United haven’t played great football but their recent performances have shown that in the big games they are up for it and can get the job done.
Manchester United now have seven games to do the deed and make it into Europe’s biggest club competition next season. Failure to do that could see a lot of financial losses for the club but the way things have been going for the club, they should make it.
No real style of play for Van Gaal
Whether you like it or not, almost every club has a certain way to play football. Even with Everton, they knew what they wanted to do, either lump it up to Lukaku or play it out to the wingers with Barkley pulling the strings.
However, that cannot be said about Manchester United as they don’t really have a distant style under Van Gaal. The Dutchman might be lucky in getting the results, we are sure he would say that his philosophy is the reason why the club is winning games, but that is far from the truth.