Old Trafford “Fortress”
MU may not play well away, but every time they play at Old Trafford, they are still a force that is difficult to beat. The proof is that except for the 1-2 defeat against Brighton at the beginning of the season, MU is unbeaten at the “Theater of Dreams” in the Premier League this season. The Red Devils collected 11 wins and 3 draws. If counted in all competitions, MU has owned a series of 24 unbeaten matches at Old Trafford after the victory over Everton. In general, Old Trafford is a place “easy to go and difficult to return” to any opponent.
Maguire makes his mark
Before Everton, coach Erik ten Hag surprised when he arranged Harry Maguire to start in the center of defense next to Lisandro Martinez instead of Raphael Varane. This is only the 6th time the England international has started for MU in the Premier League this season. In the rare occasion of being trusted by Ten Hag, Maguire played well. He has a 100% tackle success rate, and neutralizes many attacks by The Toffees. To be fair, Everton is relatively weak, so Maguire’s true capacity has not been clearly reflected.
Rashford is injured
MU’s victory was not complete when near the end of the game, the main striker Marcus Rashford limped off the field due to injury. According to the British press, the 25-year-old striker is likely to have a groin problem, and may have to miss the match against Sevilla in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals on April 14. This is clearly a huge loss for the Red Devils, because Rashford is the team’s number one goalscorer. If Rashford takes a few weeks off, it is unclear where MU’s fate will go, especially when the season is entering a sprint phase.
The defeat against MU has pushed Everton into a miserable situation. The Toffees are currently 16th with 27 points, equal to the points of the relegation group but ranked above thanks to a better goal difference. However, with Bournemouth and Leicester playing later, Everton can completely be pushed into the danger zone after the 30th round ends. Time is counting down for Sean Dyche’s teachers and students, and if they don’t wake up soon, it is inevitable that they have to play in the Championship next season.
Pickford’s shining day
Without the talent of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Everton would exactly have become a “balloon basket” for MU at Old Trafford. The laxity in the defense caused the visitors to be constantly threatened by the Red Devils. MU launched up to 29 bombardments, of which Pickford excelled with 9 saves. The ability to enter and exit reasonably and with good reflexes has helped the 29-year-old goalkeeper discourage the spearheads of MU, especially Rashford and Antony. This is probably why Pickford is always considered by coach Gareth Southgate as England’s number 1 goalkeeper, despite Everton diving in the bottom half of the rankings.