Manchester United came back from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Everton side at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Red Devils dominated large chunks of the possession but went behind before the half-time break when Victor Lindelof scored a 36th-minute own-goal.
They pegged forward in numbers after the break and were bailed out by a goal from substitute Mason Greenwood to earn a point, but eventually ended up dropping two points to fall down to sixth place in the Premier League table.
On another day, the Red Devils could’ve won but lethargic work from their front-line and strong defending from the visitors denied them a chance to win three league games in-a-row. Here we’ll look at three things we learned from the game.
United really need Paul Pogba to be back
The recent victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City shaded thinking that perhaps the Red Devils don’t need Paul Pogba to succeed anymore. Well, the game against Everton proved that they quite obviously need.
The Red Devils created quite a few chances, but lacked that cutting-edge pass to destabilize Everton’s defence. There was also nobody making runs into the box from midfield, with both Scott McTominay and Fred opting to play deeper.
He should return to training soon. In order to break down rigid oppositions, United definitely need their impactful Frenchman to sparkle more creativity into the side.
Everton should stick with Ducan Ferguson- for now
Everton didn’t play the best football to earn the point from Old Trafford, but they worked extremely hard for it. They were lucky to go ahead with the own-goal, but made life difficult for the hosts with their tenacious, spirited effort.
Michael Keane and Yerry Mina did a great job to block the supply into the box, while Seamus Coleman, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies all put in energetic shifts to cover a lot of ground. The players clearly played their hearts out for their manager and earned him another valuable point.
The Toons might still be looking for a new permanent manager, but the way Ferguson’s inspired the boys and making them play at their very best makes him deserving of some more time to prove his ability.
United need a better alternative to Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial usually holds a strong record against Everton, but was completely shut down by the visitors on Sunday. To make things worse, he showed little willingness to get involved in the game and barely had many touches of the ball.
The Frenchman was unable to test Jordan Pickford and played at a pedestrian pace, with youngster Greenwood overshadowing him in the end. Solskjaer has stated that he’s looking to strengthen certain areas of his squad and the striking department is one which needs the most focus.
Be it signing reported target Erling Braut Haaland or giving the excellent Greenwood more opportunities, United need better goal-scorers to break down packed defences and win such matches in order to keep their top-four dreams alive.