Manchester United v Everton: Match in pictures
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended David De Gea after his performance against Everton on Saturday. However, the 47-year-old also aimed a dig at the Spain international after he conceded three times at Old Trafford. That result means the club are now five points behind Manchester City at the top of the table, with Pep Guardiola’s side also having a game in hand.
United took the lead against Everton through Edinson Cavani, who headed home Marcus Rashford’s pinpoint cross.
And they doubled their advantage shortly before half time, with Bruno Fernandes producing a sensational effort.
Everton then responded after the interval, however, with Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez on target.
United looked to have won the game through Scott McTominay but, in the end, were forced to settle for a point after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored late on.
After the game, Solskjaer defended De Gea.
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“I wouldn’t blame anyone on the goals,” he said.
“But we know we could have done better to defend all of them.”
However, the United boss also aimed a dig at the goalkeeper by adding: “You can’t concede goals every time there’s a shot between the posts.”
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De Gea has been United’s main No 1 ever since Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge.
He was a shining light during the difficult David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho eras – often winning the club points single-handedly.
But he’s struggled for consistency ever since Solskjaer took over and, with Dean Henderson waiting in the wings, is under immense pressure behind the scenes.
Some within United have called for Henderson to be given more opportunities, having struggled for minutes since returning from a successful loan spell with Sheffield United.
Former United goalkeeper Tomas Kuszczak recently had his say on the two goalkeepers, saying Henderson will get his chance in due course.
“He is a very young goalkeeper but it is no accident that he is there. He will get chances. Ole trusts him,” he said.
“He needs to find a way to the first team. He needs experience.
“He had a good time at Sheffield United and played very well, but Manchester United is a different team – you play internationally and have a lot of pressure.
“Being a goalkeeper is a difficult position. In the past you had very big names. Dean is the future of the football club. He will get chances. When the time is right, the manager will give him that chance.”
Former Aston Villa star Gabby Agbonlahor, meanwhile, thinks now is the time for Solskjaer to make the call.
“How many times have we been saying that with David de Gea?” he told talkSPORT after the weekend’s result.
“Next week he’ll make one good save and we’ll be like ‘all right, it’s forgotten now’.
“For me, Henderson has to start. David de Gea has made that many mistakes for Manchester United, he’s got to come and clear that cross and for the first Everton goal he’s got to do better there, he can’t be parrying it straight into the path of the attacker.
“For me, he’s got to be dropped. But I just don’t see Ole as the sort of manager that’s going to drop him though. No matter what he does, he’s playing.”
Henderson is expected to start when United lock horns with West Ham in the FA Cup on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils have already beaten the Hammers once this season – winning 3-1 in their Premier League showdown back in December.
But, with David Moyes’ side flying at present, victory certainly isn’t assured.
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