Week 35--Everton Pounces on ManU's Bad Form: Everton 4-0 Manchester United

By Juan Aguerrevere

Everton resumed its flawless record in Goodison Park by viciously stomping on Manchester United. The Toffees have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 home games. 

Marcos Silva re-introduced his (4-2-3-1) formation leaving out Phil Jagielka and Andre Gomez. As a result, Michael Keane and ex-Manchester United's Morgan Schneiderlin featured on Easter Sunday’s first match. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed his side's formation yet again to a (4-3-3). Nemanja Matic, Diogo Dalot and Romelu Lukaku returned to action leaving Scott McTominay, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard on the bench following United's mid-week Champions League exit.

The game's first stint of action arrived in the 10th minute.

Everton's Idrissa Gana Gueye chipped a ball toward the far post. Consequently, Richarlison managed to control the ball and fire a volley past his compatriot, Fred. David De Gea dealt well with the close-action attempt. However, this was not the case for the rest of the match.

A couple of minutes later, Lucas Digne launched a long throw-in finding Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the box. Calvert-Lewin rose higher than every Manchester United defender in and managed to clip the ball with his back further up the box. The slight flick found Richarlison in the back post who had enough time to rise and hit an overhead kick with his weak foot from close range. This time, De Gea was left standing while the ball flew past him putting Everton up 1-0.

The Toffies didn’t hold back keeping their high tempo and possession while going forward. 

Alas, United's first chance came in the 20th minute. Paul Pogba launched a precise longball for Rashford to chase. Rashford's' flick was not enough to test Pickford as the ball floated over the cross-bar. 

In the 29th minute, Gueye found Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle of the field. The Icelandic star immediately picked up his head and challenged Matic who failed to keep up, ceding space to Sigurdsson. The former Swansea stand-out gave fans a glimpse of why defenders shouldn’t give him space in front of goal. Without hesitation, Sigurdsson struck a low-dipping shot past De Gea from outside the box to put Everton up 2-0.

Solskjaer made two changes during half-time. Matic came off for McTominay in the holding mid position and Phil Jones was subbed off for Ashley Young moving Victor Lindelof back to his natural position. Unfortunately, nothing changed. 

Everton’s first goal scorer, Richarlison went down to ground grabbing his ribs 3 minutes into the half. Everton's top scorer this season came off after medical attention holding his left rib-cage. Theo Walcott was introduced. 

De Gea's successful punched clearance led to Everton's third goal in the 54th minute. The clearance allowed Digne to hit a one-time volley from 25-yards-out. Players in the box blocked De Gea's sight forcing him to react late as the ball beat him to the near post

Substitute Theo Walcot made it 4-0 by bursting through United's weak defense with pace beating De Gea in a one-on-one. 

Manchester United away fans chanted "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole" repeatedly after the match showing support for their manager. They seem undeterred by United’s recent form--6 losses in the last 8 games, 7 goals against and 0 in favor in the last 2 games, 0 goals from open play in approximately 360 minutes. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

United Keeps Top-4 Hopes: Manchester United 2-1 West Ham

By Juan Aguerrevere

Saturday’s late game almost derailed Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's goal of finishing the season with a spot in the Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini's men outplayed a Manchester United just like in their first fixture back in September.  

Felipe Anderson's early goal was disallowed even though Diogo Dalot appeared to have kept Anderson onside. Minutes after, Graham Scott pointed to the Hammer's penalty spot after Robert Snodgrass's poor tackle on Juan Mata. Snodgrass and other West Ham players argued the foul took place outside the box, but to no avail. United's penalty taker, Paul Pogba, decided against his signature penalty run-up, but his shot beat West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for first goal of the afternoon anyway. 

Five minutes into the second phase, a bad giveaway by normally impeccable David de Gea led to a Manuel Lanzini cross that found Anderson lurking at the back post. Anderson punished de Gea and Marcos Rojo, who had carelessly left the Brazilian open on the back-post.

Marcus Rashford was denied a goal by Fabianski after Chris Smalling did his best Joel Matip impression.

Pellegrini’s decision to bring on Michail Antonio made an instant impact on the game. His sleek run and powerful left-footed attempt struck the crossbar. And it took an astonishing save from de Gea to deny Antonio a second time.

But with close to ten minutes remaining, Anthony Martial was sent through by a cutting pass from Pogba. West Ham defender Ryan Fredericks hauled Martial down in a clear goal scoring opportunity inside the box. Scott had no choice but to point to the spot for the second time this game. Once again, Paul Pogba dismissed his trademark run-up and beat Fabianski.

Manchester United carries on with its journey for a top-4 end. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.