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April 22, 2019

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More Ole woes as 4-star Toffees lick United

A WOEFUL Manchester United suffered its fifth straight-away defeat, in all competitions, with a 0-4 English Premier League hammering at the hands of a vibrant Everton at Goodison Park, Liverpool, yesterday.

United did not manage a shot on target until the 86th minute as it fell to its sixth loss in eight games since its memorable victory at Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League.

The euphoria felt in Paris and at the start of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign seems a distant memory after a performance that lacked not only quality but aggression and fire.

United must now somehow pick itself up in time for the visit of Manchester City to Old Trafford for the derby on Wednesday.

For Marco Silva’s improving Everton, in seventh place, this was its third top-six scalp in as many home games following victories over Chelsea and Arsenal.

Brazilian Richarlison fired Everton ahead in the 13th minute with an acrobatic high volley after Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicked on a long throw.

Gylfi Sigurdsson made it 2-0 with a low drive from over 25 yards out that United goalkeeper David De Gea was slow to react to as the home side ran rampant.

Solskjaer took off the ineffective Fred for Scott McTominay at the break while Ashley Young came on for the injured Phil Jones at the back but the change in personnel made no difference to the flow of the game.

The Toffees were faster, sharper and more aggressive while United’s midfield pair of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba were spectators for most of the game.

Lucas Digne then blasted in the third in the 56th after De Gea punched out a corner to the French full-back with United struggling to get even a foot in the game.

Icelandic playmaker Sigurdsson then put substitute Theo Walcott through with a clever pass through the legs of Victor Lindelof which the former Arsenal striker confidently converted.

“The first goal was the key,” said Sigurdsson.

“After that we defended really well. It was important for us to get the next goal after going 2-0 up. It gave us constant belief and we controlled the game after that,” he added.

United, eliminated from the UCL by Barcelona last Tuesday, remains in sixth position, outside the four qualification spots for next season’s campaign.

The Red Devils have not lost five straight-away games since 1981 and they ran 8.03 kilometers less than Everton.

United has now conceded 48 goals in the league this season, its most in a top-flight campaign since 1979.

As a reward for his better-than-expected spell in temporary charge of United, Solskjaer accepted a three-year contract on March 28 after 14 wins in 19 games.

He apologized to the club’s supporters for the “unworthy” loss yesterday. “From the first whistle everything went wrong,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

“I just want to apologize to the fans. They’re the only people with the badge on today who can hold their heads high, because we can’t.”

The former United striker added: “Everton were better than us at all the basics. There are so many things that we need to do better to get a result. Talent has never been enough.”


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