Fellaini’s error hand Everton draw against Man Utd

Leighton Baines converted the spot kick to hand Everton a draw
Leighton Baines converted the spot kick to hand Everton a draw
Leighton Baines converted the spot kick to hand Everton a draw

Leighton Baines rescued a late point for Everton against Manchester United after substitute Marouane Fellaini conceded a costly penalty against his former club at Goodison Park.

Fellaini, on his 100th United appearance, was introduced in the 85th minute to help see out the win but his first meaningful action was to commit a clumsy foul on Idrissa Gueye in the area, and Baines made no mistake from 12 yards.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s sixth goal in five games had earlier put United on course for just a third Premier League win in 11 matches.

The 35-year-old Swede struck with a sweet first-half lob that hit the bar and post before finally deigning to cross the line – although Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg’s will be unhappy with his decision to rush from his area.

United, with manager Jose Mourinho back on the touchline after his midweek ban, also saw Ander Herrera crash a shot off the frame of the goal in the second half.

However, it might have been a different story had referee Michael Oliver shown a red card to United defender Marcos Rojo for a wild, two-footed lunge on Gueye with just 15 minutes gone.

That was the prelude to a bruising encounter for the out-of-form Toffees, who lost Seamus Coleman and Yannick Bolasie to injuries before they rallied for a point late on.

United fail to see out the game – again

United have now dropped seven points as a result of goals conceded in the final 10 minutes of league games this season – more than any other side.

That statistic contributed to United’s tally of 20 points from 13 games at kick-off, their worst haul in the Premier League era.

Despite their frustrations in the league, they were good value for their goal when it arrived towards the end of a largely listless first half.

Anthony Martial’s long ball forward was the cue for Stekelenburg to needlessly charge from his goal, giving Ibrahimovic an opportunity to score that he would not have had if the keeper had stayed at home.

As it was, Stekelenburg so nearly got away with it.

Ibrahimovic’s effort bounced up and on to the bar, back down in front of the line and then spun sideways into the post.

Time seemed to stand still as the ball dallied and danced on the line, but it finally crossed just as Ramiro Funes Mori ran in to hack clear.

The visitors were unlucky not to find themselves further ahead when Herrera struck the bar in the second half, after which Everton came more into the match as an attacking force, with Kevin Mirallas, Gueye and Enner Valencia all forcing David de Gea into action.

United looked to have weathered the storm and for good measure threw on Fellaini to add extra steel at the back in what time remained – but the Belgian, signed from Everton for £27.5m in 2013, suffered a rush of blood in his own box to gift the hosts a point.

Everton’s strong finish to the match was in stark contrast to an opening 45 minutes during which they managed no shots on target.

And if there was any sense of injustice over Rojo’s tackle on Gueye – which referee Oliver only deemed a caution – it did not translate itself to greater urgency in their play, despite their run of just one win in eight games at kick-off.

But as the game wore on, so Everton’s threat increased.

Their flurry of shots after the break transformed De Gea from a mere bystander to a central figure in proceedings – with his first stop from Mirallas’ powerful drive the pick of the bunch.

Fellaini’s mistimed tackle on Gueye was lucky in a way but just reward in another, and after Baines planted the ball home to De Gea’s right there was only one team in the running to take all the points.

Valencia saw a shot blocked within moments of the restart before Baines let fly from 20 yards with a fizzing drive that De Gea had to punch away to safety.
Dogged Everton get their reward

Please follow and like us: