Everton boost their survival hopes with victory over Manchester United

Anthony Gordon greatly increased Everton’s hopes of surviving in the Premier League as his first-half goal made the difference in a tricky affair against Manchester United.

Gordon’s deflected effort before the half hour mark relieved the pressure on Frank Lampard after a midweek 3-2 loss to relegation rivals Burnley had left Everton just a point above the zone. of descent.

This was far from a classic display from either side, but a 1-0 win for the Toffees puts the light between them and the bottom three as United’s top four ambitions took another premature dent.

Ralf Rangnick made half a dozen changes from the team that drew 1-1 against Leicester last week (Lampard himself made four), as Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford were restored to the starting XI.

The boisterous Rashford was thwarted twice early on by Jordan Pickford, but Ronaldo was largely subdued as United continued to drift from the Champions League places after being brought down by Gordon’s shot, which hit the visiting captain. Harry Maguire and left goalkeeper David De Gea stranded.

Everton, until then, lacked inspiration, but grew noticeably in stature after moving on, when the mood at Goodison Park changed dramatically, although United gave them relatively few scares. he has only won one of his last five. top notch accessories.

Given that both teams are low on confidence, it was perhaps no surprise that the opening minutes were cautious, complete with missed passes and the sides losing possession, although Everton were particularly hesitant, with United top and having two points of view. early. goal through Rashford.

The hitherto out-of-form striker was alive down the left and Pickford deflected a quick shot, who moments later excellently ducked to avoid a header from the England striker as Gordon snuffed out any danger on the rebound.

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Everton looked listless and lethargic, with their fans growing restive, but the atmosphere and momentum changed when they took a 27th-minute lead after some sluggishness at United’s back.

Richarlison’s clipping attempt to Alex Iwobi was broken just outside the box for Gordon, who prioritized placement over power and welcomed a wicked deflection from Maguire, mishandling De Gea, as the ball went into the net.

The goal propelled Everton forward, with Michael Keane heading in soon after, while another effort deflected, this time from Richarlison, had to be deflected by De Gea.

United were forced to make a change before the break, with Fred seemingly recovering from injury and taken off for Paul Pogba, whose first significant contribution saw him defeat Gordon at the halfway mark to get into the referee’s book after the break. .

Marcus Rashford couldn't find the net

Marcus Rashford couldn’t find the net (Martin Rickett/PA)

Moments earlier, Rashford had slipped behind the Everton defense and, although he failed to make contact with Bruno Fernandes’s pass, the ball barely deflected with Pickford out of position.

It was to be Rashford’s last appearance, as he and Nemanja Matic were hooked by Anthony Elanga and Juan Mata, and Ralf Rangnick used all three of his substitutes in 64 minutes.

United gradually began to apply pressure in the closing stages, with Everton throwing bodies on the road as the ball entered the box, although Pogba forced a clever save from Pickford late on.

Pickford was called back in added time to deny Ronaldo on the half volley after Maguire pushed him away before the referee’s whistle for full time was met by a rash of noise.

Lampard raised his fist on the touchline and no doubt breathed a sigh of relief, following a momentous win, only the third of his league tenure in 10 tries.