It was a dire performance tonight from Manchester United, who were out fought, our played, out hustled and just over powered by an Everton side inspired by that beast Marouane Felliani, repeating the performance he put in in April at Old Trafford. Poor Micheal Carrick was a rabbit in headlights as Felliani beat him in the air time and time again. He was certainly given not much help though. Why was Carrick marking Felliani at corners? And why was no one marking the front post? Both decisions cost United, as Felliani powered home a header for the winner in the second half.
Manchester United lacked ideas in attack too. No one, save new boy Shinji Kagawa, could break down the Everton offense. Nani and Wayne Rooney were particularly woeful. Nani forever was finding Tim Howard with ease in good crossing positions. On his day he is a deadly winger. Which makes performances like these really infuriating. He showed nothing today. So careless in possession.
Kagawa however was wonderful. Almost completely the opposite. Rarely gave the ball away. Forever finding pockets of space, linking up well with his teammates. Put in a brilliant cross which should have tested Howard from the resulting header (Rooney laid an egg). He also made two or three delightful through balls.
David De Gea was the other plus point. Wonderful saves in the first half. The best was a low one to his left from Steven Pienaar. He saw it late, and not many keepers would have got down to it. The other was from a Leigton Baines free kick. It took a little nick off the wall but De Gea still tipped it over. Wonderful performance from the Spaniard.
Robin Van Persie got on with around 20 minutes left. His only notable contribution came from a good run, in which he found Shinji Kagawa who was met well by Tim Howard.
At half time I remarked the outcome of the match could well be decided by the two standout players of the first half. David De Gea done nothing wrong in the 2nd half. Yet Felliani was something else all night. How long do you think until Roberto Mancini picks up the phone to satisfy his lack of signings?