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Premier League | Gameweek 28
Mar 9, 2024 at 12.30pm UK
Old Trafford

Man Utd
2 - 0

Fernandes (12' pen.), Rashford (36' pen.)
McTominay (69')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Onana (27'), Doucoure (34')

Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford penalties help Manchester United beat wasteful Everton

:Headline: Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford penalties help Manchester United beat wasteful Everton:
First-half penalties from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford help Manchester United claim a 2-0 win over a wasteful Everton outfit at Old Trafford.
Sports Mole

Manchester United bounced back from two consecutive Premier League defeats to beat Everton 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford both scored first-half penalties against a wasteful Toffees side that failed to convert any of their 23 attempts on goal, registering just six on target.

Despite Everton's best efforts to make the net ripple, the Red Devils stood firm to secure their eighth clean sheet of the season as well as their 41st Premier League win over the Toffees – breaking a record for the most wins for one club over another in the division's history.

Although victory for Erik ten Hag's side keeps them in sixth place in the Premier League table, hopes of securing a Champions League spot have been boosted as they have moved to within three points of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who travel to fourth-placed Aston Villa on Sunday.

As for Everton, they have extended their unwanted winless run to 11 games, just one short of a club record set in 1994, and Sean Dyche's men – for the time being – remain 16th in the table, five points above the relegation zone.

Both teams opted to name an unchanged starting lineup, and it was Everton who made the stronger start, capitalising on Man United's sloppiness in possession; Dwight McNeil created the visitors' first chance, with his deep cross from the left deflecting off Amadou Onana into the path of Ben Godfrey, but Andre Onana was quick off his line to smother the danger.

The Toffees' positive start ultimately counted for nothing, though, as James Tarkowski gifted the Red Devils a 12th-minute penalty after clipping the ankles of Alejandro Garnacho wide on the left. Fernandes stepped up to coolly roll his effort into the bottom-right corner – his first league goal since November 4.

Not long after both Fernandes and Jack Harrison fired shots over the crossbar, former Man United man James Garner, starting his 100th career league match, had a powerful curler from distance punched away by Onana, before Amadou Onana blasted the rebound off target.

Pickford was then called into action to make a strong one-handed save to keep out a well-struck 20-yard free kick from Fernandes, before Jarrad Branthwaite made a vital intervention to deny Kobbie Mainoo a close-range tap-in at the near post.

Man United were not so convincing in possession and continued to invite pressure from Everton, with McNeil allowed acres of space to drive into the penalty area and fizz a dangerous cross-cum-shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Garnacho, a constant livewire throughout the contest, then tried his luck driving towards Everton's box, and after skipping past a few Toffees defenders, was brought down by an outstretched leg of Godfrey, giving referee Simon Hooper no choice but to point to the spot for the second time on the 36-minute mark.

Although Fernandes comfortably converted the first spot kick, it was Rashford who stepped up to take the second, sending Pickford the wrong way with a whipped effort into the bottom-left corner – just his second goal at Old Trafford in his last 18 appearances in all competitions.

The Red Devils ended the first half strongly and appealed for a third penalty on the stroke of half time when Garnacho's cutback on the byline struck the arm of the sliding Vitaliy Mykolenko, but VAR deemed the incident accidental.

A blocked drive from Casemiro was then followed shortly by a bending strike from Victor Lindelof that was comfortably collected by Pickford, before Raphael Varane at the other end made a crucial block to keep out a low shot from McNeil in the final action of the first half.

After producing 16 crosses to Man United's four in the first 45, Everton continued to exploit the wide areas to create chances after the break, particularly through McNeil, whose floated delivery from the left fell kindly to Abdoulaye Doucoure from around 12 yards out, but his first-time shot was well blocked by the thigh of Scott McTominay.

Everton initially controlled proceedings in possession, but United continued to pose a threat on the counter-attack; Fernandes played through Garnacho on the right channel but the latter could not keep his strike down from a tight angle.

The Red Devils duo combined again just before the hour mark, with Fernandes bursting down the left and rolling an inviting delivery towards the back post for Garnacho, but the Argentine was stretching for it and could only direct his effort into the side-netting.

Garnacho then turned provider for Fernandes, who received the ball just inside the box and pinged a decent strike towards the bottom-left corner, only for Pickford to make a superb fingertip save to divert the ball round the far post.

United somehow failed to score from the resulting corner, with Lindelof, McTominay and Jonny Evans all trying their luck during a goalmouth scramble, but the Red Devils trio were unable to squeeze the ball beyond Pickford.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Lewis Dobbin, Andre Gomes and Ashley Young were all brought on by Dyche to provide a fresh spark in the closing stages, and the former two combined to almost pull one back for the visitors. However, Dobbin's fizzed cross from the left side of the area had too much pace on it for the sliding Calvert-Lewin at the back post.

Everton continued to probe in the final third and push for a late goal, but United's backline admirably stood firm to help the Champions League-chasing hosts collect three important points a week after their disappointing loss to rivals Manchester City.

Man United now turn their attention to next weekend's FA Cup quarter-final at home against rivals Liverpool, while Everton are next in top-flight action away against Bournemouth after the international break on March 30. body check tags ::

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