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As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail patrick@thescore.ie, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Welcome, welcome. Hope you lot have some in your chocolate -filled bellies for the ongoing quest for Champions League football?

We shall get you started with the starting XIs presently…

Everton: Howard, Baines, Distin, Stones, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, Barkley, Naismith, Lukaku.

Naismith will be asked to make those late runs into the box and to support the marauding Lukaku while Stones starts in defence again.

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Evans, Büttner, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Kagawa, Mata, Rooney.

Rooney starts but Fellaini does not make the starting line-up. No Patrice ‘I voted for Luis Suarez again’ Evra either.

This is the Manchester United bench: Lindegaard, Giggs, Hernandez, Welbeck, Valencia, Fellaini, Januzaj. Not a defensive player in sight apart from the occasional right-back ‘Toni’ Valencia.

This is the Everton bench: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Deulofeu, Osman, Garbutt, Alcaraz.

Two years left on his contract but Danny Welbeck’s agent has been busy. Stories dropping all over the place of the fleeting forward considering his United future. He is [apparently] displeased at being started out of position. Would United be foolish to let him go?

While you ponder that Welbeck I will, quite innocently, leave this here:

WELLY Source: Bleacher Report

No craic in the tunnel apart from the Chelsea old(ish) boys Lukaku and Mata:

REJECTS Source: Sky Sports

KICK-OFF

Heavy boos for Moyes as he trotted out to shake Martinez’ hand before kick-off.

1 min - Nani tries the ambitiously ambitious but his volley strikes on Josh Stones. Bright start from United but Everton break and Jones has to hack clear.

3 mins - Good bomb forward from Coleman as he leaves Kagawa in his wake but his cross is cleared. Kagawa loses possession again as McCarthy shuts him down.

5 mins - Kagawa stinking up Goodison at present as his heavy touch sets United on their heels. He is a quality player though so expect his performance to improve as the afternoon goes on.

Mata beats Barry in 50/50 challenge shocker.

7 mins – Good start for United but they have yet to fashion a chance inside the Toffees’ box.

8 mins - Barkley with the first chance of note but he can’t keep his left-footed swipe down after Coleman’s tricky cross was headed clear.

On a side note, how lush is Wayne Rooney’s hair looking these days? Probably cost a lot of coin but the docs did a good job.

10 mins - Coleman making hay on the right flank. Leaves Kagawa for dead; Buttner is hanging too deep and another cross needs to be dealt with.

12 mins - United bossing possession but Everton are happy to drop back and pack the spine of the pitch. Smalling bungles a chipped pass out of play for an Everton goal-kick.

17 mins - United fans getting warned to sit down now — for standing — or their allocation of seats will be cut for next season. First shot on goal, meanwhile, as Rooney picks out Smalling on the back post. Howard gets down quick to save.

20 mins - Second penalty appeal in quick succession. After Smalling is fotunate with some loose control, Evans slides in to block Naismith. Shot strikes his arm but would have been harsh from Mark ’3 penalties against Liverpool’ Clattenburg.

APPEAL

21 mins - Holy heck that is some miss from Naismith. Lukaku makes an aerial mug out of Jones to nod back for the Scot. He has plenty of time but blazes badly over from 14 yards out.

25 mins - Everton pressing United in possession now and the lack of a genuine target man means there is no outlet up front, as Rooney is dropping deep.

PENALTY EVERTON…

GOAL! Everton 1-0 Manchester United 0 (Baines ’27)

Phil Jones disengages his brain for two seconds, falls in the box and blocks a Lukaku shot with his arm. Crazy and reckless in equal measure. Baines steps up and smacks his shot straight down the middle. De Gea gets some studs on it but can’t keep it out.

29 mins - McCarthy lashes out a sliding tackle in the box but Buttner opts to hurdle rather than dive [defender's instinct perhaps].

Four Mark Clatternburg penalties awarded against United in the last two games. Hard to argue with any of them.

34 mins - Nani coming in, looking to be involved. He would be better served, and would serve his team better, to hug the sidelines in an effort to stretch Everton. United far too narrow at the moment.

36 mins - Loose Baines pass but Distin sweeps up. Everton close to a second but Coleman’s cross is a yard ahead of Lukaku in the six yard box.

38 mins - Remember that 50/50 challenge that Mata won earlier? Barry just crunched in and won a 20/80 to leave the Spaniard on the turf. Everton more than happy to hit United on the break. Very similar to the Arsenal game — sit and pounce at pace.

40 mins - Of course the injured RVP would be handy, but this game [from a United perspective] is crying out for Javier Hernandez.

GOAL! Everton 2-0 Manchester United (Mirallas ’42)

Clatternburg waves play on after a Mata foul on Baines. Play switches to the right wing and Coleman finds Mirallas after Phil Jones has another brain-freeze. Tries to play offside some two yards behind the rest of his defensive line. Three points on the way to Everton.

HALF-TIME

Moyes can’t get down the tunnel quick enough. What did you Everton and MUFC fans make of the opening 45?

FUN/QUEASY FACT: United on course to finish behind Everton for the first time since 1989/90, the same season Liverpool last won the league.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Manchester United - Goodison Park 'You're in my seat. Oh, wait' Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Shamrock Rovers’ Karl Sheppard makes a valid, incendiary point.

KICK-OFF

Everton get us going. Alcaraz on for Distin.

45 mins - Rooney wants half an hour in the Toffees box to shoot. Challenge eventually comes in. United get the corner but it is easily dealt with.

47 mins - Kagawa tests Howard but it is straight at him. Looking back at that Mirallas goal, it was clearly Buttners fault [sitting way deep again]. Jones was simply trying to react to being tipped down a rapid without a paddle by his teammate. Would be surprised if the Dutch defender survives the summer cull. An Alex Ferguson Band-Aid signing in his final season.

50 mins - Kagawa has NOT improved as the game has progressed, Coleman streams past him again, without as much as a challenge. He drives into the box and tries to disguise a shot through Evans’ legs but skews wide. The right-back has been impressive again.

Everton will be a point back from Arsenal if they hold out for the win. Here are their, and Arsenal’s remaining games.

  • Everton: Southampton [a], Man City [h], Hull [a]
  • Arsenal: Newcastle [h], West Brom [h], Norwich [a]

54 mins - As I briefly ponder the question ‘Where is Tom Cleverley?’, another United attack breaks down. Away fans in good ‘United Road’ voice. Shall Moyes spend half of his post-match interview praising the fans again?

57 mins - Alcaraz has a tame header saved by De Gea. No signs of a change from Moyes on his new bench at Goodison.

60 mins - Yellow card for McCarthy after a nasty lunge on Mata. Nani slinks off, as does Jonny Evans. Little Pea up front, for Nani, with Valencia as a pressing right back, I would imagine. Smalling and Jones the new centre back pairing.

Almost as soon as they team up, Smalling lets Lukaku run across him and get a shot on target.

If you were an Everton player, would you seriously now consider a summer switch to United? They can offer better wages, for sure, but there are no real signs of recovery yet.

63 mins - Hernandez with some great industry there to tee up Fletcher but his shot is awful, scuffed and very, very wide.

66 mins - Rooney extremely lucky not to see yellow, or red, for a thundering, stud-up tackle on McCarthy after he tangled with Coleman. The midfielder hobbles off for sideline treatment. Barkley then shoots wide from a narrow angle.

69 mins - Osman on for Barkley. United will officially, mathematically miss out on the Champions League if they do not get three points from this match. Those hopes are fading faster than the tan from my recent Easter holidays.

MATCH STAT: Passes so far – United 445, Everton 224.

72 mins - Lukaku has been a nuisance all afternoon. Pure, stir crazy that Mourinho loaned him out for the season. Welbeck getting ready on the sidelines.

74 mins – Welbeck on for the disappointing Kagawa.

77 mins - Naismith sidefoots over from eight yards out after a great Mirallas run up the right flank.

78 mins - Mata flagged offside. He does not agree. Can’t wait to read his next online blog entry.

79 mins - Barry tosses Welbeck to the ground to give United a free in a dangerous position. Mata whips. Not a single United player jumps; headed clear.

WHAT A SAVE! De Gea with a fine, diving stop to his left to deny Naismith after Everton broke 4-on-3.

82 mins - Valencia does so well to win possession and hold off Baines and Lukaku. He passes to Smalling, who aimlessly thuds the ball out of play. Wayne Rooney wrings his arms in despair.

This will be the first Premier League season ['modern era'] that United have lost all six games to City, Liverpool and Everton.

86 mins - Everton not content to run out the clock. They press for a third and the home fans are loving it. Hernandez makes a good run Mata delays his pass a split second. Offside.

87 mins - Rooney should score. Instead, Howard rushes out and gets an arm to his side-footed effort to divert it onto the bar and over. Corner is headed clear.

ROONEY

89 mins - Criminal from Carrick. He lazily backheels the ball in the United box. It falls to Mirallas and his strike is deflected wide for a corner.

Gary Neville, on Sky Sports, gives “sensational” Seamus Coleman the man-of-the-match award.

91 mins - Late corner for United. Smalling nods on but it is hacked clear.

92 mins - Great whipped cross from Rooney and Smalling contrives to head wide from four yards out.

94 mins - McGeady on for Mirallas. Token.

FULL-TIME

Best away record in the league now passes to Liverpool after United’s defeat. 11 league losses for the Red Devils, their worst return since finishing 13th in 1989/90.

Full-time: Everton 2-0 Manchester United

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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