Manchester United returned to winning ways after a couple of goals from Bruno Fernandes, and a first goal for Edinson Cavani set up an important and morale boosting win for Solskjaer and his men at the Merseyside. Everton on the other hand suffered their third consecutive defeat in the Premier League after being undefeated in the first five games.
Carlo Ancelotti made six changes to the side beaten at Newcastle by replacing Olsen, Niels Nkounkou, Yerry Mina, Jonjoe Kenny, Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes with Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Lucas Digne, Mason Holgate, Bernard and James Rodriguez. Solskjaer made just one change to the side that lost to Arsenal by replacing Pogba with Juan Mata.
The hosts dominated early proceedings with James involved in most of Everton’s attacking moves. United struggled to retain possession as Calvert-Lewin flicked Bernard’s cross just over the bar. Martial missed a great chance to put United ahead when his shot across Pickford went inches wide of the right-hand post after Fred played him through in the left-channel. United almost gifted Everton a goal when Lindelof played a backpass that nearly let Doucoure in. However, De Gea raced off his line to boot the danger away as the Swedish international apologised for his mistake.
Everton took the lead in the 19th minute after Bernard picked up Calvert-Lewin’s flick from a Pickford’s goal kick, to cut inside Wan-Bissaka and slot it past De Gea in the bottom left with relative ease. United responded back in quick fashion through Bruno Fernandes, who headed Luke Shaw’s cross from ten yards out into the top right leaving Pickford with no chance. The game opened up with end-to-end action as Everton were unlucky to have Digne’s shot intended for the top-left corner thump against the post. United, who looked much better after conceding the first goal took the lead in the 32nd minute after Rashford failed to make any contact with Bruno’s lovely cross, but the ball hit the post and sneaked in. United started to control the game and held on to their lead to head into the break.
Everton started the half with much improved intensity and tempo in the search of an equaliser. The Toffees enjoyed more possession when compared to the first half, but couldn’t trouble De Gea with any conviction. Everton were lucky not to concede a penalty after Maguire was clattered by Keane and Pickford, and VAR controversially deemed nothing wrong with the challenges. United were enforced into a substitution when Shaw injured his hamstring and had to be replaced by Tuanzebe. Sigurdsson, who had a very poor game was replaced by Iwobi as Everton couldn’t find a way to break through United’s defence.
The lack of clear cut chances forced Everton to shoot from distance and rely on set pieces, which hardly troubled De Gea in the goal. United replaced Mata and Martial with Pogba and Cavani, while James Rodriguez was replaced by Cenk Tosun. A couple of bookings were dished out to Tosun and Doucoure during the final minutes of the game as Everton looked frustrated in their efforts for an equaliser. United dismissed any lingering hopes of an Everton equaliser in the stoppage time after the Toffees attack resulted in a Manchester United counter-attack of four against two. Bruno, who was on a hat-trick flicked the ball to Cavani for the Uruguayan to score his first goal for the Red Devils.
Bruno Fernandes, who was named man of the match said “I don’t care. If Marcus touched it a little bit it can be his goal, it was no problem for me. Most importantly for me as a number 10 is serving my team-mates, as I did in the end for Cavani, I had the chance to shoot and look for the hat-trick but I see him alone. And if Marcus can take the second goal, it is not a problem for me. Everyone needs to be a leader. One who doesn’t talk too much but does the right things. Others need to speak a little bit more, to feel more part of the game. The three points is for everyone, not just one player.“
Solskajer, who was happy with his team’s performance but angry with the fixture scheduling said “We were set up to fail. They set up the boys to fail. We been to Turkey Wednesday night, we’re playing Saturday lunchtime kick-off, it’s an absolute shambles. And I cannot praise the boys enough for the character they have shown. Them boys deserve better than being thrown out here to fail today. Authorities set us up to fail. You’ve got Liverpool and City, play on Tuesday, they play Sunday. Who’s responsible? I’ve had enough. We’ve lost Luke Shaw because of that. So set us up on a Sunday, then. It’s a joke. We were brilliant. They deserve all the praise. Well done.“
Carlo Ancelotti admitted his team didn’t defend well and said “After we scored, we were not able to defend well. They scored two goals easily, took advantage and then the game was more difficult. If we could play the first half like we did the second we could have had a different result, but that was not the case. We have to defend better. We were slow at the back. We have to improve. I hope after the international break we will be back in a different shape. I know how to manage the difficulties. This season is not finished yet. This moment is bad, so we have to be focused.“