Falcao seals the deal for Manchester United with his first goal for the Red Devils, as they beat Everton 2-1 at Old Trafford in their first consecutive win under Van Gaal.
It turned out to be a great game today, as the fans at Old Trafford got their money’s worth, seeing their team having 15 shots on goal and Everton 10.
United were looking for their second win in a row since their 2-1 win at Old Trafford against West Ham United last week. Everton on the other hand, were looking to get their second win in eight games, beating West Bromwich 0-2 away in the beginning of September, being their latest victory.
There were a few players who were outstanding today, such as Angel Di Maria and David De Gea, who were doing magic on both ends of the pitch. Di Maria having six out of United’s 15 shots on target, and De Gea making crucial saves, one right after the other.
All the action started with United going all-out attack from the start of the game. The first real attempt on goal arrived in the 4th minute, when Falcao’s header from the centre of the box was saved by Tim Howard in the bottom right corner.
Everton had many attempts on goal, but it was United that took the lead in the 26th minute, when Angel Di Maria received the ball on the edge of the box from Juan Mata, who was anonymous throughout the game, and with a first touch finish put the ball in the bottom right corner.
Everton tried to get back in the game, however, it was United who had the most attempts and the most possession throughout the first half. Nonetheless, Everton received a penalty just before half-time, when former Southampton left-back Luke Shaw made contact with the ball, but also hit Tony Hibbert. It was a very difficult decision for referee Kevin Friend.
However, Leighton Baines failed to capitalise on the opportunity, when he saw his shot saved by De Gea. De Gea being the first Premier League goal keeper to save a Leighton Baines penalty, breaking Baines record of 14 straight penalty goals.
In the second half, Everton had more possession in the game and had more chances on goal. Both teams’ left flanks created most of the chances, with Shaw and Di Maria for United and Baines and McGeady for Everton. And in the 54th minute, that left flank for Everton made the goal, when Baines with a perfect curled cross found a free Steven Naismith, who with a powerful header from the right side of the six yard box, smashed the ball in the top left corner to make it 1-1.
Unfortunately for Everton, their joy only lasted for seven minutes, as Manchester United’s new world class striker Falcao found the net unmarked inside the box, as he received the ball from Di Maria, whose shot on target looked like a fluke which instead found Falcao, who with a tap in scored his first goal in a United shirt.
In the last minutes of the game, Everton had several attempts on goal as they tried to steal two points before the final whistle, but due to a fantastic performance from De Gea, the Spanish goal keeper managed to keep the Red Devils in the lead. First in the 86th minute, he managed to shot-stop a one on one effort from Leon Osman with a quick reaction in the centre of the box. Then in the last dying minute of the game, he threw himself as far as he could and managed to save a Bryan Oviedo bullet in the very top right corner of the goal. Despite his heroics, Manchester United have only managed to keep two clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League games.
The game finished 2-1 to United, who don’t have a game until the 20th October due to the international break. Their next match will be away to West Brom and manager Van Gaal hopes his team can continue their latest good form as a win could put them back in the top four. They are currently fifth.
Everton on the other hand will have to rethink their game plan, as they face Aston Villa at home on the 18th October. Their loss today put them just above the relegation zone in 17th position, and will they have to win to turn their bad run of form around.