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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 12 May 2021


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog. The teams are out…

MAN UNITED: De Gea; Rafael, McNair, Rojo, Shaw; Blind; Valencia, Di Maria; Mata; Falcao, van Persie.

EVERTON: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka (c), Stones, Baines, Barry, Besic, Pienaar, McGeady, Naismith, Lukaku.

In his pre-match interview, Roberto Martinez suggests James McCarthy will be out for both the Ireland games rather than just the Gibraltar match.

Bad news assuming it turns out to be true.

Do you agree?

Sir Alex

Ji Sung Park is being announced as United’s ambassador, with Fergie accompanying him onto the pitch.

In his interview, the former United boss recalled the match where Park “snuffed Pirlo out of the game” in a past clash with AC Milan.

We’re underway…

2 mins: Positive start for United, as they get the first half-chance of the game.

Shaw crosses for Falcao, whose header is comfortably saved by Howard.

6 mins: Another chance for United, as Di Maria’s cross finds the onrushing Van Persie, who fails to find the target with his finish.

The Red Devils are well on top in the opening stages, with Everton looking more than a little vulnerable at the back.

As I type, Van Persie gets booked for a late tackle on Barry.

13 mins: McNair versus Lukaku should be an interesting battle.

The Irish defender has stood up well to his opponent so far, and he blocks the Belgian international’s cross for a corner as I type.

18 mins: Glorious flick from Di Maria to find Falcao, who drags his shot just wide.

United have been bright and inventive in attack so far, though Everton are looking a bit more solid now following some early nerves.

23 mins: Everton get caught in possession, leading to Di Maria eventually taking a pot shot.

The Argentine international’s shot is deflected just over, as United continue to look the more likely team to break the deadlock.


Man United 1-0 Everton (Di Maria 26)

A cross is only half-cleared, and Mata lays the ball off for Di Maria.

The summer signing then curls the ball beautifully into the net to give the hosts a deserved lead.

37 mins: Jagielka makes a well-timed tackle on Van Persie in the area.

He needed to get that right — otherwise United would have had a penalty.

39 mins: Lukaku gets in behind McNair for the first time, but his subsequent shot is a few inches wide.

The Antrim-born defender has played well for the most part, but that’s a little reminder that he can’t afford to let his concentration drop in the presence of the Belgian international.



45 mins: Poor from Luke Shaw, as he needlessly dives in to bring down Tony Hibbert.

However, De Gea saves Baines’ penalty brilliantly.

It’s the first time the England international has missed a penalty in the Premier League.


The second half is underway…

51 mins: Good work from Luke Shaw down the left, and Falcao’s subsequent shot is deflected wide.

The striker still hasn’t opened his United account, but it’s not through lack of effort anyway, as he’s been very lively today.


Man United 1-1 Everton (Naismith 55)

Baines plays a beautiful ball in to find an unmarked Naismith, who heads home.

Again, poor defence from United lets them down.

58 mins: Baines plays a corner in and a Jagielka header has to be cleared off the line.

Everton’s confidence is up after that goal, while United are now looking a little shaky at the back.


Man United 2-1 Everton (Falcao 62)

Out of nothing, Falcao gets on the end of a cross-shot to slide home and restore United’s lead.

Everton will be kicking themselves, having worked so hard to get back in this game.

Here’s a look at the two most recent goals.

71 mins: Intriguingly, Tyler Blackett has replaced the injured Shaw, while James Wilson is set to come on too.

Blackett will slot straight in at left-back.

73 mins: Falcao’s day is over, as James Wilson replaces him.

The youngster, who also played and scored for United last season, is “the talk of the academy” according to BT Sport co-commentator Michael Owen.

Everton will surely look to exploit United’s lack of experience.

77 mins: Everton make a double change — Browning replaces Hibbert, while Osman is on for McGeady.

The Irish international will be disappointed, particularly as Everton need a goal, so you’d think his services would be required.

Meanwhile, United make their final change, with Fellaini replacing Valencia.

Good stat from BT Sport — United have now played as many players this season as they did in the whole of last season.

Is Van Gaal the new tinkerman?

84 mins: Everton are still toiling away, but don’t really look like scoring despite United’s inexperience at the back.

Looks like it’s going to be another three points for Louis van Gaal’s men.

86 mins: Good ball in by Browning, but Naismith doesn’t really connect properly with the header while under pressure from the defender.

Shortly thereafter, Osman hammers a shot from the edge of the area that De Gea does well to get down and save.

88 mins: Michael Owen names Angel Di Maria as Man of the Match.

As I type, Di Maria plays through Van Persie, but Stones does very well to get back and make a recovery tackle.

89 mins: Everton break and Naismith plays it to Osman, whose shot is well saved by De Gea.

It’s been less than convincing from United at the back, particularly in this second half, and Osman had far too much space there.

90 mins: Incredible save from De Gea.

Besic catches the ball well, but the goalkeeper manages to tip the ball over superbly.


Here’s a look at THAT save from De Gea.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy