Everton fell to what was a defeat in another disappointing performance this season, and with the season fast running out of games it is starting to look like Everton will have a fight on their hands to achieve a finish in the top half of the table! Everton made a few changes to their starting eleven, with the main change being the recall of John Stones to replace Ramiro Funes Mori in the centre of defence, while this may have been a little harsh on Funes Mori who has played well this season maybe the amount of travelling he has done during the international fixtures played a part in Roberto Martinez’s decision. Being fair to John Stones, he did look more relaxed and comfortable during the game than he has done for a while playing for Everton, although he was not placed under the greatest of pressure from Utd.
The game itself can be counted as being a bit of a disappointment all round, neither of the sides played anything that could have been classed as being good attacking football and something that gave the impression of being in control of the game. While Everton could have given the impression of being more solid ion defence than they have done for the majority of this season, it was really just down to a lack of consistent attacking pressure from Utd. Not for the first time this season, Everton had a good proportion of possession of the ball but yet again seemed incapable of making the most of their possession. De Gea in the Utd goal was not placed under anything that could be considered as real pressure, while Robles in the Everton goal was equally not placed under much pressure, in fact most of the touches of the ball that Robles had came from passes back to him from his own players!
Utd took the lead in the 54th Minute through Martial, who scored from Fosu-Mensah’s cross, although the cross should have been dealt with comfortably by Seamus Coleman who missed his chance to clear the ball at the far post before Martial knocked the ball home. Everton had a couple of chances to level the scores when Jagielka sent a header crashing against the bar from a corner and also later in the game Jagielka sent his shot straight at De Gea. Those two Jagielka chances were really all that Everton offered that threatened the scoreline.
The game ran its course to the end with neither side offering any serious threat to alter the score, and if honesty was to be told the game was not a good one for either side although Utd will be happy with the three points. Everton were once again the architects of their own downfall, and it is not enough for a side to have a big chunk of the possession if they are not going to do anything with the ball! A further point that needs to be mentioned is that when Everton were trying (not very convincingly though) to level the scores with around 20-25 minutes remaining of the game and throwing on another striker, Martinez instead held back the introduction of Niasse until the 87th minute! Surely in a game in which neither team were running away with the game that a manger would have given his striker, who he recently paid more than £13 million for, more time than 3 or so minutes to get his team back into the game!