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United 2 Everton 1

The Christmas fixtures are always an interesting time to start looking at the league table and to see who will be challenging for honours. And United went in to this game against the ‘in-form team in the Premier League’ needing to win after Arsenal’s late win against Spurs. For most of the game the scoreboard showed a draw and United were unable to break down a resilient Everton team. However, patience is a virtue and United eventually¬†walked away with all 3 points to make it 9 out of 9 from the Merseyside teams so far.

The journey up to Old Trafford was slow due to fog, Christmas travel and a few accidents and we got to the ground just in time for kick off. The team started off just as slowly, and there was little penetration or infiltration of the Everton ranks in the opening 20 minutes. However, the players started to turn the screw with Tevez, Anderson and Ronaldo notably bullish and sharp. It came rather out of the blue, however, when Ronaldo cut inside onto his left foot and smashed a brilliant shot into the bottom corner. 1-0.

Unfortunately Everton equalised within 5 minutes after a piece of sloppy defending which left Cahill free in the centre to head home. The stage was now set- Everton sat back and could United break them down? The crowd got behind the team but of course the traditional scouse-baiting was also top of the agenda. “Feed the scousers, let them know it’s Christmas time” echoed out continually, and they responded with the same, tired “Who the fuck are Man United” songs. United continued to run at Everton who defended bravely but offered nothing going fowards. However, it was not until the 88th minute when Giggs was hacked down in the box to give Ronaldo a chance to win the game. Which of course he duly took sparking great celebrations and a lot of relief.

Everton were unlucky that one bad decision to foul Giggs who was running away from goal cost them the game. They would have deserved a point for resilient defending and team spirit. However, United were the only team who tried to win the game and fully deserved to walk away with a victory despite it coming so late. To beat the team with the most confidence at present was a great result, especially with VDS, Rio Ferdinand and Hargreaves all missing. Let’s just hope Everton recover, get Arteta back and start winning again so that they can take points off our title rivals, namely Arsenal next week. United now have 2 tough away games over the festive period and if we can win those we could well be top of the table going into the new year.

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