Everton 1-1 Manchester United: Keeper howlers, late VAR drama and a red card for Carlo Ancelotti after the full-time whistle as sides play out dramatic draw at Goodison Park with Bruno Fernandes’ strike cancelling out David de Gea’s early error
- A early howler by David de Gea gave Everton the lead, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin benefiting from the error
- Manchester United equalised through Bruno Fernandes’ long-range effort which easily beat Jordan Pickford
- There was late drama as a stoppage-time Calvert-Lewin winner was ruled out for offside after VAR intervened
- Gylfi Sigurdsson was adjudged to have been in De Gea’s line of sight with the Iceland ace sat in front of him
- Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was sent-off after the final whistle for furiously complaining about the decision
Given that we live in an age when players are called offside by the width of their armpit, there really was no cause for prolonged debate here.
We appreciated the drama. We always do.
Goodison Park was at its most febrile, disenchanted best by the time the full-time whistle prompted Carlo Ancelotti to march towards referee Chris Kavanagh like a debt collector who knew that he had somewhere else he quickly needed to be. But that doesn’t change the fact that Gylfi Sigurdsson was offside. Clear and simple. All day long.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was sent-off after the final whistle by referee Chris Kavanagh following a late VAR call
Gylfi Sigurdsson (middle) was adjudged to have been in David de Gea’s line of sight and offside as VAR disallowed the goal
Odion Ighalo had a brilliant chance to win it for United late on but Jordan Pickford came up with a fantastic save to keep it 1-1
Yes, the injury-time shot by Dominic Calvert-Lewin was going in from the moment it struck Manchester United defender Harry Maguire on the heel. It was the deflection that had United’s David De Gea moving the wrong way. It had nothing to do with Sigurdsson.
But that doesn’t really matter. Everton’s Icelandic midfielder was sitting on the six-yard line – having been denied by a superb De Gea save a second or so earlier – when Calvert-Lewin’s shot arrived.
He actually had to lift his legs up to let the ball pass by in to the goal. Interfering with play? Yes, you could say that. As the old saying goes, if you are that close to goal but aren’t interfering with play then what exactly are you doing?
So although Everton maybe would have deserved their winning goal on the balance of second half play, they didn’t deserve this one to stand.
The rules don’t help, of course. At least not the way they are interpreted. There is no consistency. On another day, this would have been allowed to stand and that is the top and bottom of the problem.
So a 1-1 draw it was and a reasonably engaging game had suddenly become one that we won’t forget for a while.
As the contest reached three minutes of added time, it was the goalkeepers we were talking about. Both committed grave errors to concede goals in the first half.
MATCH FACTS, RATINGS AND LIVE LEAGUE TABLE
Everton: (4-4-2): Pickford 6; Coleman 6 (Sidibe 27, 6), Keane 6, Holgate 6, Baines 6; Walcott 6.5 (Bernard 62, 6), Gomes 7 (Keane 81, 6), Davies 6.5, Sigurdsson 6.5; Richarlison 6, Calvert-Lewin 7.5
SUBS NOT USED: Virginia, Delph, Mina, Iwobi.
GOALS: Calvert-Lewin 2
BOOKED: Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Sidibe
MANAGER: Carlo Ancelotti 6.5
Manchester United: (4-3-1-2): De Gea 6; Wan-Bissaka 5.5, Lindelof 6, Maguire 6, Shaw 5.5; McTominay 6 (Mata 72, 6), Matic 6.5, Fred 7; Fernandes 7; Martial 6 (Williams 88, 6), Greenwood 6 (Ighalo 72, 6)
SUBS NOT USED: Romero, Bailly, Lingard, Pereira.
GOALS: Fernandes 30
BOOKED: Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof
MANAGER: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 6
REFEREE: Chris Kavanagh 6
MAN OF THE MATCH: Calvert-Lewin
Season at a glance
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring the opening goal in the third minute of the game at Goodison Park
Calvert-Lewin (right) alongside forward partner Richarlison (left) after the early goal, which came from a David de Gea error
De Gea was first to err in only the third minute, taking far too long to attempt a clearance and seeing Calvert-Lewin charge it down and deflect the ball in to the net. It was an awful blunder from a keeper who has one in his locker these days.
A goal down early in a game that meant so much to a United team that has hopes of finishing in the top four, they actually recovered well.
With new signing Bruno Fernandes impressive once again, United were marginally the better team after that dreadful start and Nemanja Matic had come close twice – once with a shot against the bar and then with a shot saved low – by the time Jordan Pickford gifted them a goal on the half hour.
Pickford is a good goalkeeper but he is too emotional and prone to mistakes like this. His England manager Gareth Southgate was here and saw him dive over a well struck but within range Fernandes drive to invite United back in to the game.
The Manchester United goalkeeper kicked the ball straight at an onrushing Calvert-Lewin with the ball then deflecting in
De Gea apologised following his mistake which gifted the home side the lead early on in incredibly bizarre circumstances
Bruno Fernandes (right) celebrated scoring United’s equaliser after half-an-hour with midfielder Scott McTominay (left)
Pickford was to save brilliantly from United substitute Odion Ighalo a minute or so before all the late drama. Having pushed a 90th minute Fernandes shot up in to the air, he was able to divert the follow-up away with his foot. That was the side of Pickford we like but still we wonder when – at the age of almost 26 – he is going to purge the other part of his personality from his game.
A goal late on for United would have been unfair on Everton, who were the more progressive side in the second half. Despite their early goal, Ancelotti’s team had not shown enough urgency or played with enough tempo in the first period. They had made it too easy for United to find a way back.
But it was a different matter after half-time. With midfielder Andre Gomes fit again so quickly after breaking his ankle here against Tottenham back in the autumn, Everton had a player to not only help break up United’s midfield play but also to pass quickly and accurately from blue shirt to blue shirt. It helped with their rhythm.
Sigurdsson almost gave Everton the lead again the 56th minute with a curling free-kick that struck De Gea’s right-hand post with the goalkeeper stranded. Richarlison, first to the rebound, could not convert on the volley from six yards.
Fernandes’ shot had too much power for Everton keeper Jordan Pickford who should’ve done better down low to his right
Everton’s Andre Gomes, making his first start since his ankle injury, tussles with McTominay for the ball in the first-half
Nemanja Matic challenges for the ball with Calvert-Lewin, who was the biggest threat up front for Everton all afternoon
There were other chances, too. Calvert-Lewin worried the United central defensive pairing of Maguire and Victor Lindelof all afternoon with his speed and his directness.
One dash down the left with about 20 minutes left required De Gea to save with his feet at the near post while a similar foray from Richarlison needed an intervention from a defender as the Brazilian looked to find runners arriving from deep to his right.
There was a host of corners too and Ancelotti will have been encouraged by his team’s ascendancy in the latter stages. Everton have improved under him and with a little bit of luck this could have been the sixth Premier League win of his two months in charge.
As for United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he will wonder why his team fell away. Apart from his late save from Ighalo, Pickford was not troubled much at all in the second half and despite another encouraging afternoon from the gifted Fernandes, United did not see enough of the ball in the right areas to really look like a top four team.
United have still not won more than two consecutive league games all season and that should be a worry. Here, though, they were saved from defeat by nothing more than the correct interpretation of the rules. Amid all the hoopla that will no doubt follow, we should try and remember that.
Teenage striker Mason Greenwood started for United but struggled to have a significant impact before being substituted
United captain Harry Maguire challenges Everton forward Richarlison for the ball in the air during the even first-half
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