Report: Valencia, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku and Martial sink Everton in another 4-0 rout


Manchester United beat Everton 4-0 at Old Trafford with Romelu Lukaku and Wayne Rooney playing against their former clubs at the Theatre of Dreams. United took the lead inside the first four minutes with Antonio Valencia scoring a sublime goal, assisted by Nemanja Matic. Lukaku could have scored in the first half, one-on-one with Jordan Pickford, shooting wide of the target. Rooney had a chance to score at Old Trafford again, that also being wide of the mark.

It was the second half where United made themselves counted, scoring the second goal through Henrikh Mkhitaryan before Lukaku scored his first goal against his former club with a fourth coming from Anthony Martial, who won a penalty, striking home in his cameo. Three points for United, back to the top of the league, sharing the spot with Manchester City, which is a great start for United this season.

Jose Mourinho made a few changes to his starting XI ahead of the clash with Everton at Old Trafford. Antonio Valencia was recalled into the right-back position with Ashley Young moving to left-back after his performance against Basel during the week. Marouane Fellaini replaced the injured Paul Pogba in midfield with Marcus Rashford replacing Anthony Martial on the left flank. Romelu Lukaku keeps his place against his former club, perhaps we will see how he will fare as Wayne Rooney hardly ever performed well against Everton.

United started well, getting on the attack and pressuring Everton from the off. Antonio Valencia scored the opening goal inside four minutes with Nemanja Matic getting the assist. It was a sublime goal from the Ecuadorian right-back and Jordan Pickford could do nothing to stop the shot from taking first blood. Everton’s back three, or five if you look at it that way were just not good enough to stop United in the opening stages of the match. United were breaking through on nearly every attack, just not getting a goal each time.

United kept throwing all they could at Everton despite being in full control of the match so far. Everton have had seven shots on target in their five Premier League matches this season, which shows just how poor Ronald Koeman’s side are. United had a chance with Romelu Lukaku breaking through, passing to Marcus Rashford, who could not get anything going wide in the box. United had another chance minutes later, again failing to do anything with it. Everton had a break of their own through Rooney with the United top scorer having a shot on goal, which was wide of the mark.

In the 26th minute of the match Lukaku was through on goal after an Everton defensive error, missing the target by a mile. Michael Keane looks nervous in this match and unable to deal with the attacking players of United, which could be a bullet missed for United as they were interested in the player this summer. Not worth what Everton paid for him, yet anyway. Tom Davies had a chance for Everton, breaking through the defence and getting his header on target, but was flagged for offside. United needed to get another goal before the end of the half, if just to stop Everton from getting into the game.

In the 32nd minute of the match, both United and Everton had two attempts on goal, United having one on target, which was the goal, Everton still looking for that clear-cut shot on goal. Rashford latched onto the ball in the 34th minute of the match, breaking through into the box, being crowded out and unable to capitalise on the chance he created. United had another chance with Lukaku running into the box, but Ashley Williams getting enough of the ball to allay the danger and the Belgian running out of space to get anything for United.

In the closing stages of the half, United were still one goal to the good and in control of the match. Everton were playing with their backs to the wall with United coming forward with chance after chance, pressuring the Toffees around their own box. United should have scored at least another goal in the half, through Lukaku, but you cannot have everything. There was an added minute at the end of the first half with Everton winning a free-kick after Rooney was fouled, the free-kick going straight into the hands of David De Gea, who has largely been untested during the first half of the match.

Everton commenced the second half with the kick off and almost instantly Rooney had a chance which forced De Gea into the save to deny the visitors from finding the back of the net. United dealt with the clearance to get the game going in their own favour again. Rooney could have made his ‘homecoming’ and eventful one if it was not for the best goalkeeper in the world. In the 51st minute of the match, Rashford was on the ball on the attacked, setting his shot wide of the target which was poor for him. Perhaps Mourinho needs to make a change to inject some skill, pace and power on the left flank with Anthony Martial?

In the 57th minute of the match, after a good spell of play, Rashford had the ball on the counter-attack and Morgan Schneiderlin made the foul with United given the free-kick. Lukaku had a change of boots during the break in play with United now on the attack again. Jesse Lingard was getting ready to come on approaching the hour mark, getting a team talk with the manager whilst readying himself with Rashford coming off for the Warrington-born attacking midfielder. Just after the change, Everton had yet another chance, this time through Gylfi Sigurdsson with De Gea making the save. Everton should be level now.

Juan Mata capitalised from a Pickford clearance, running into the box to play off a pass, fouled on the edge of the box, which could have been a penalty. Mata took the free-kick, striking the post with Pickford seemingly beaten. Everton made their first change with Sandro Ramirez coming on for Davies, which should see Koeman’s side throwing more at United and their defence in the latter stages of the match. Mourinho needs to bring Martial on, let him cause some problems for Everton, which could secure the win for United heading into a cagey encounter with one goal the difference for the home side.

United had a great chance to get goal number two in the bag with Lingard in the box, the ball played to him and his effort on goal still rising. United really need to seal this whilst they can, or encounter a final ten minutes which could see a mistake give Everton a goal with United earning their second draw in just over a week. Lingard had another change breaking forward, seemingly fouled by Keane then by Cuco Martina to win another free-kick, this time from the left flank. Lingard had another shot on goal, having a break from nothing with United pegged back in their own half. His shot was forced over the crossbar for a corner.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan took the corner, the ball being cleared with United gaining possession and running up the left flank, passing over to Valencia on the right and forcing through on goal. United were building for something, Matic having the shot, it just wide of the outstretched Pickford. In the 76th minute, Everton brought on Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Idrissa Gueye and United brought on Ander Herrera for Mata in the 77th. Lingard had another chance, taken out on the box, a penalty maybe, the referee did not think so.

United almost had another chance heading into the final ten minutes of the match, Everton doing all they needed to do to thwart the attack. Eric Bailly was booked for a challenge before Rooney was taken off for Kevin Mirallas. In the 84th minute of the match, Lukaku got the better of Williams, passing the ball to Mkhitaryan, who put the ball into the back of the net to take the match for United. United were two goals to the good. Martial eventually replaced Mkhitaryan in the 88th minute of the match, a bit late to create a final few minutes of goalscoring for United maybe.

United had a free-kick which Lukaku took, hit the wall with United getting the ball again. Lukaku was played in, finding the back of the net in the 89th minute, celebrating the goal with his hand on his ear. United were three goals to the good and hitting Everton hard, at last. Martial got the ball into the box, Schneiderlin with a sliding tackle to thwart the attack, catching the ball with his trailing arm, penalty to United.

Martial took the ball, sticking the ball calmly into the back of the net to take a 4-0 victory for United, their third of the season and Everton’s fourth successive defeat without scoring a goal. United were level with City at the top of the league, level on points and goal difference. Next up for United is the third round of the Carabao Cup against Burton Albion at Old Trafford before United travel to Southampton in the Premier League next Saturday.

Goals: Antonio Valencia 4′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 83′, Romelu Lukaku 89′, Anthony Martial 90+2′ penalty

Assists: Nemanja Matic 4′, Romelu Lukaku 83′, Jesse Lingard 89′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young; Matic, Fellaini; Mata (Herrera 77′), Mkhitaryan (Martial 88′), Rashford (Lingard 61′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Darmian; Carrick

Bookings: Eric Bailly 82′

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