Everton 1-1 Man Utd: Goalkeeping error apiece means spoils are shared

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 beat Jordan Pickford 
  • There was late drama as a stoppage-time Calvert-Lewin winner was ruled out for offside after VAR intervened
  • Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was sent-off after the final whistle for complaining about the decision  

Another Manchester United game, another reprieve through VAR. After close calls went their way at Chelsea and at home to Watford, this one was perhaps the most contentious of all.

In added time here at a fractious Goodison Park, Everton had just been denied a winning goal by a superb save by David De Gea. But when Dominic Calvert-Lewin drove in another low shot, the ball took a deflection off United defender Harry Maguire and rolled in to the goal past a wrong-footed goalkeeper De Gea.

Everton 2 Manchester United 1. The only problem was that Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson – the player originally denied by De Gea – had not recovered his footing and was still sitting on the six-yard line in an offside position as the shot arrived. He actually had to lift his legs up to allow the ball to pass by.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti is sent-off after the final whistle by referee Chris Kavanagh following a late VAR call 

Gylfi Sigurdsson 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 

This immediately gave rise to two arguments.

The first was that De Gea was wrong-footed and would not have stopped the ball. The second was that a player sitting in front of the goalkeeper so close to goal simply had to be interfering with play.

In the end, after a short delay, the VAR officials disallowed the goal. It felt right, even though Everton felt they had been wronged. Manager Carlo Ancoletti’s complaints were so prolonged at full-time that he was shown a red card by referee Chris Kavanagh. The loss of two points will have hurt the Italian more, no doubt.

It was a rather crazy finish to a compelling game. In the first half, both goalkeepers made mistakes – De Gea to give Everton the lead in only the 2nd minute and Jordan Pickford to allow Bruno Fernandes to equalise almost half an hour later. 

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

Pickford was playing in front of the watching England manager Gareth Southgate so his timing was poor. That said, he did make a great save from United substitute Odion Ighalo moments before all the fuss at the other end in injury time.

On the whole, Everton shaded the contest. United recovered from the early setback well to play positively and create chances. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team lost their way in the second half and as such will be happy with the fact they didn’t lose.

De Gea’s early error was extraordinary. Pickford’s half an hour later was less of a surprise.

Certainly there seemed little danger to the United goalkeeper when the ball was played back to him in just the second minute. The Spaniard had time to choose his clearance and on reflection that was the problem. 

De Gea simply took too long and by the time he went to clear upfield Calvert-Lewin was on to him and the rebound from the young striker’s raised foot took the ball in to the net with some conviction.

De Gea looked bemused and little wonder. It is highly unlikely such a thing has happened to him before and after this he will doubtless ensure it doesn’t happen again. Next time, he will have to be quicker.

United, in decent form, were rattled but only briefly. Within two minutes a long pass from deep found Calvert-Lewin sprinting down the inside left channel and De Gea was required to push his low shot round the post for a corner.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring the opening goal in the third minute of the game at Goodison Park

Calvert-Lewin alongside forward partner Richarlison after the early goal, which came from a David de Gea error 

The Manchester United goalkeeper kicked the ball straight at an onrushing Calvert-Lewin, with the ball deflecting in 

De Gea’s defenders dealt with that immediate threat and after that United settled down. Everton continued to carry a threat when they moved forwards. There seemed to be a huge gap at times between United central defenders Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof and the pace of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison threatened to take them right through it on occasion.

On the whole, though, it was United who went on to dictate the tempo of the rest of the half and it was a surprise they didn’t score before they did.

Certainly with Fernandes in the team, United seem to have a little more structure and balance. They have a focal point from which to play their football in the final third.

It was the Portuguese who was eventually to equalise but before that Nemanja Matic twice came close, both times from distance. His first shot was taken first time from a Fred pull-back in the seventh minute and struck the top of the bar. 

Then, five minutes later, Aaron Wan-Bissaka robbed Leighton Baines down the right and when then ball was funnelled back to Matic 25 yards out he brought a sharp low save from Pickford with a raking, low shot.

de Gea apologises following his mistake which gifted the home side the lead early on in comical circumstances

United were progressive in the middle section of the half and young Mason Greenwood could also have scored, diverting a Fred cross over with a flick header in the 17th minute.

Despite their lead, it felt as though Everton needed a little more tempo and perhaps more aggression. United were impressive in the middle of the field but were too often under only minimal pressure.

Still, the goal came as a shock. Fernandes has a decent shot on him and the one he got off under no pressure on the half hour was a nice strike, low to Pickford’s right from 25 yards. The ball was swerving, too, but the that only took it back towards Pickford and the goalkeeper should simply have saved it. Instead the England goalkeeper seemed to dive over the top of it and as a result United were back on terms.

Briefly and without warning the temperature of the game rose. Calvert-Lewin was late on Luke Shaw and a melee followed. Both were booked. Then, almost immediately, Tom Davies and Maguire were too. Then, just before half-time, Richarlison headed a half-chance wide on the six-yard line. It was the best chance Everton had fashioned since taking the lead.

Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring United’s equaliser after half-an-hour, with midfielder Scott McTominay 

Fernandes’ shot had too much power for Everton keeper Jordan Pickford who should’ve done better down low to his right 

More progress was to come in the first half of the second period, though. Everton were much improved and the better side.

Andre Gomes, fit again after that awful autumn ankle break here against Tottenham, was increasingly influential, breaking up some of United’s midfield possession and using the ball with intelligence.

But it was Sigurdsson who came closest with a right-footed free-kick that curled away from a static De Gea and struck the goalkeeper’s right hand post. Richarlison, on the follow-up, couldn’t direct his shot on target.

That incident came in the 56th minute for a time. Everton enjoyed a long spell of possession and territory and looked dangerous, particularly when Calvert-Lewin was played in to space. 

One run down the left from the English forward drew a save from De Gea at his near post while handball awarded against United midfielder Fred gave Sigurdsson another free-kick chance that led to a shot in to the wall.

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 a threat up front for Everton all afternoon 

Teenage striker Mason Greenwood started for United but struggled to have an impact before being substituted 

With 15 minutes left it was United who were left to play on the break. Solskjaer’s team are good at it, mind, and Everton would have been mindful of that threat when Juan Mata and Ighalo were introduced late in the day. Indeed Fernandes led a rapid breakout from an Everton corner only for Leighton Baines to clear his ball to the near post athletically and necessarily.

Everton forced a number of corners during the second half but were not generally effective with them. One, with 14 minutes left, was flicked on dangerously by Mason Holgate was cleared from almost under his own crossbar by a United shirt.

In the game’s death throes, though, it was Pickford who stood tall when necessary. His first save from Fernandes was decent as the United playmaker broke through down the left. His second, with his foot from Ighalo, was excellent. It saved Everton from defeat and unwittingly set the scene for the drama and controversy to come.

United captain Harry Maguire challenges Everton forward Richarlison for the ball in the air during the first-half

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