Football Follow Up: Manchester United (A)

Fallout from Old Trafford

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One day, Everton will turn up to a stadium belonging to a big club and leave with 3 points. Sunday wasn’t that day – we turned up, we tried to win; which is more than we can say about previous trips.

A controversial penalty decision gave United the perfect opportunity to score – Pogba scored at the second attempt after Pickford saved his penalty. Martial put it in the only place Pickford couldn’t save for the second after Everton forgot to defend the attack.

Sigurdsson pulled one back, Bernard missed a brilliant opportunity. But thats that.

Football follow up this week is slightly different. Instead of Damien answering the questions, he has tasked the good people of Red Cafe forum for their views:

Full answers can be found here:

Here is one of the answers:

1) What was your overall assessment of the match?

One of the more enjoyable games for the fans this season. I was surprised at Everton’s lack of attacking intent, though. I expected them to have a go at us.

2)Who was your man of the match?

Paul Pogba. The most influential player on the park for me.

3) Who impressed you for Manchester United and why?

Martial. He’s had a lot of stick since the summer, what with his attitude and commitment being questioned, but his recent performances would suggest his heart is in the club and he wants to succeed here.

4) Who impressed you for Everton and why?

Pickford was solid and Richarlison looked dangerous on the rare occasion he had the ball at his feet, but for me, Sigurdsson was the stand-out performer. A natural threat (perhaps the only one if I’m being honest) who was constantly looking to make things happen. Shame he didn’t have the support he needed in midfield.

5) For the first time in a couple of seasons. Everton started the match with purpose and set out to try and win the match, is that what you expected? Was it the right approach?

Yes and yes, but I expected Everton to sustain it for far longer than they did. They retreated back into their shell after Pogba scored the opener. The scoreline could and perhaps should have been a lot wider.

6) Coleman was out for a month with a fractured foot and returned last week vs Crystal Palace. Did Mourinho intentionally set up to exploit our right-hand side or was that a reactive tactic?

Most of our best openings tend to originate from the left-flank. The combination of Shaw + Martial is working well, with Pogba providing support if need be. Attacks down the right are practically non-existant for us, hence why the fans were begging for a RW over the summer. I don’t think Jose set out to target Coleman directly, no.

7) The penalty decision changed the complexion of that game – was it a penalty? If not should Martial be banned?

It was a penalty. There was clear contact for me, although Martial didn’t help his case with such a pathetic dive. An argument could be made for Pogba getting a ban for adopting the most embarrassing penalty-taking technique ever.

8) For both penalties, the fouling player was on a yellow card. Did either of them deserve a second yellow?

No, not for me. Neither player was directly though on goal, thus not a red card offence. Had those challenges been made outside the box, well, that’s another matter.

9) Everton pulled one back through Sigurdsson and missed several decent chances to score. Were United fans worried of a comeback or were they comfortable knowing they had the 3 points?

More than you will ever know. It’s become a theme under Jose, we often have a nice 2-goal buffer heading into the last 20 minutes, only to concede around that period. The last quarter of the game is then a backs-to-the-wall affair where anything is possible.

10) Who disappointed you for Manchester United and why?

Jose Mourinho, for reasons too numerous to mention. You’ve likely heard them all in any case.

11) Who disappointed you for Everton and why?

Coleman, but I had no notion he was coming off the back of an injury until you mentioned it above. Fair enough then.

12) Was it a fair result?

I thought we could and perhaps should have won by a larger margin. I expected more from Everton truth be told.

Just an add-on question. The game showed off two brilliant goalkeepers. Who would you rather have in goal when your team is facing a penalty? De Gea or Pickford?

Good question, I had to think about it. De Gea isn’t the greatest from spot-kick whilst Pickford clearly is, but I’m going with De Gea purely out of dumb loyalty.

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