Bryan Oviedo piles pressure on David Moyes
Defeat to Everton leaves Manchester United 12 points adrift of Premier leaders Arsenal
Everton’s Bryan Oviedo (left) scores the winning goal in the 86th minute at Old Trafford. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA
Manchester United 0 Everton 1
For David Moyes, the night was overflowing with indignities. He can be sure now what Everton’s supporters make of him after a caustic burst of chanting from the away end and there must be something deeply troubling from his perspective about the fact Everton, finally, have reminded themselves what it is like to win at Old Trafford. Moyes, remember, never managed it, nor at Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool, in 46 league attempts.
His team are 12 points behind Arsenal and while a club with United’s history should consider that surmountable, something drastically has to change if they are to stand any chance. Not since 1992 had Everton beaten Manchester United away from home.
The visitors matched them all the way and Bryan Oviedo’s late and dramatic winner did not flatter them. For Moyes, after 11 years at Goodison, perhaps that is the most damning part and his greatestconcern now must be the erratic nature of the team he has inherited. They look short in all areas.
It has been a long, wretched run, but it quickly became apparent that Roberto Martinez’s side were at least intent on challenging that record. Romelu Lukaku was a robust opponent even for a man of Nemanja Vidic’s ruggedness.
The home side threatened only sporadically in the first half, though they could still reflect on the nearest there was to a goal in that period when Wayne Rooney’s shot skimmed off Sylvain Distin’s instep and came back off Tim Howard’s left-hand post, before the goalkeeper hacked it away.
Rooney had already tested Howard by that point and, unsighted, was a tad unfortunate shortly before half-time when Shinji Kagawa’s cross went through his legs then bounced back to him off Oviedo. Yet Everton often demonstrated the greater fluency from the centre-circle to attack.
Their midfielders showing great determination to support Lukaku in attack whereas Rooney was sometimes isolated.
Ryan Giggs, playing the first match in his fifth decade against the same opponents that marked his debut as a 17-year-old, was having little of the influence that he had exerted against Bayer Leverkusen. Marouane Fellaini had plenty of the ball but rarely moved it quickly enough and, breaking forward, Everton’s counter-attacking posed the home side plenty of problems.
Ross Barkley could have sent Lukaku clear if his pass had not been so careless, having run 40 yards through the middle. Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas were quick and bright on the wings and, more than anything, Lukaku was a powerhouse. At one point the striker went shoulder to shoulder with Vidic, left his opponent on the floor and was probably unlucky the referee, Martin Atkinson, decided it was more than just an old-fashioned 50-50. What can be said with certainty is that it was rare to see Vidic struggling so noticeably.
Rooney was often the solitary player in United’s colours to carry any real attacking purpose. With Robin van Persie still injured, United really needed more from Danny Welbeck.
Tendency to drift
Kagawa has a tendency to drift in and out of matches, decorating the occasion rather than dominating it, and Moyes is not the kind of manager who will tolerate players on the edge of the occasion. The Japanese lasted only 57 minutes and it does not reflect well on him that there was barely a flicker of disapproval when his number flashed up. Nani was also introduced, with Rafael da Silva going off and Antonio Valencia moving to right-back. Valencia, once again, struggled.
Distin and Phil Jagielka played with great authority in the heart of defence. Oviedo was a capable deputy for Leighton Baines while the amount of time Seamus Coleman spent in the opposition half was another measure of the visitors’ confidence. A slight raise of Rooney’s elbow, catching Jagielka in the chest, did not carry any real malice but it might well have been a measure of growing frustration as the clock reached an hour. Rooney was shown a yellow card and there was the clear sense that something was going to have to change if United were to seize control.
Welbeck headed against the crossbar after Howard had brilliantly saved Patrice Evra’s first effort but Mirallas had also struck the woodwork, direct from a free-kick, before Oviedo arrived at the far post to turn in Lukaku’s scuffed attempt at goal. For Everton, their first win at Old Trafford since August 1992. For Moyes, a demoralising night.
MANCHESTER UTD: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva (Januzaj 58), Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Fellaini, Giggs, Valencia, Kagawa (Nani 58), Welbeck (Hernandez 81), Rooney. Subs not used: Evans, Lindegaard, Young, Cleverley. Booked: Rooney, Giggs.
EVERTON: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas (Naismith 90), Barkley (Deulofeu 69), Pienaar (Osman 80), Lukaku. Subs not used: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Stones. Att: 75,210 .
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).