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Easy victory over Man U, makes Everton look like they should be in the top four

Everton 4-0 Man Utd
by James Nalton
at Goodison Park

EVERTON were 18 points behind Manchester United going into Sunday’s meeting between the two sides at Goodison Park, but the gulf in quality on the pitch suggested the reverse.

Marco Silva’s side looked like the team with the quality to challenge for the top four. Each of their starting 11 played a part in this convincing win, while Theo Walcott also contributed with a well-taken goal from the bench.

Bernard buzzed, Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his encouraging form up top, and Gylfi Sigurdsson ran the game from midfield. Idrissa Gueye was everywhere, spoiling United attacks, and centre backs Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma outplayed and outmuscled Romelu Lukaku.

The opener was almost a carbon copy of Phil Jagielka’s goal against Arsenal here two weeks ago.

Lucas Digne launched a long-throw into the box, Calvert-Lewin put himself about, before the loose ball was turned home, this time by Richarlison.

Sigurdsson fired a second from distance, and the excellent Digne hit a sweet half-volley to make it three. 

Walcott’s strike, engineered by Sigurdsson, turned a disappointing afternoon into an embarrassing one for the Red Devils, but things are looking up for Everton who have defeated Chelsea, Arsenal, and now United in their last three games at Goodison.

“We were the best team on the pitch since the first minute,” said Toffees boss Silva.

“Good goals, good moments of football, quality, solid team without the ball, and even after the early goal we kept pressing them high and never gave them the chance to feel comfortable.”

The positives Silva listed were everything that was missing from United’s game.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologised to the travelling supporters.

“We’ve got to apologise to the fans,” said the Norwegian. 

“They were fantastic and that performance is not good enough for a United team, all the way from me to the players. It is difficult to describe because it’s so bad.”

Solskjaer is now looking ahead to tomorrow’s Manchester derby, and what he sees as the ideal moment to bounce back against title-chasing City.

When asked how they will get out of this slump, he replied: “To have City on the other side at Old Trafford on Wednesday. That’s the biggest incentive we can have. 

“Old Trafford in front of our fans, who were brilliant again today, and I’m sure they’ll support us on Wednesday night. Then it’s up to us: me, the staff, the players.”

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