Manchester United rise into third position with two-goal success over Everton

Manchester United have moved into third position in the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Scott McTominay made the breakthrough in the 36th minute of the contest before Anthony Martial came off the bench to double the home side’s advantage in the 71st minute.

Back-to-back successes over Brentford and Everton have seen the Red Devils rise from fifth to third, with the 20-time English champions now six points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on the same number of games (29) in the race for a top-four spot

Everton, meanwhile, remain 16th in the table, with Sean Dyche‘s side level on points with 18th-placed Bournemouth and facing a battle to remain in the division this term

Marcel Sabitzer had a strike deflected just wide of the Everton goal in the second minute of the contest, with Man United, as was the case against Brentford on Wednesday, making a fast start to proceedings.

McTominay was next to try his luck, firing over the away side’s crossbar in the fifth minute, before Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had to backtrack to catch an effort from Bruno Fernandes two minutes later.

Pickford then made an even better save to keep out an effort from Marcus Rashford, who had broken into a one-on-one situation, before England’s number one did well to beat Man United’s leading goalscorer to a Fernandes cross, with the ball ultimately going behind for a goal kick.

Everton had a brilliant chance of their own in the 10th minute when Amadou Onana met a deep free kick, but his header flew over the crossbar, before Antony hit the post with an effort from outside the box down the other end, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka then somehow turned wide from the rebound under no pressure.

Tyrell Malacia smashed one over the crossbar in the 14th minute, before Ellis Simms passed up a stunning chance for Everton five minutes later, with the forward breaking into the Man United box and somehow dragging his effort wide of the far post

Pickford then had to keep out a strike from Sabitzer in the 21st minute after smart work from Sancho and Antony, with the latter feeding the on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder; Antony then broke into a one-on-one situation with England’s goalkeeper and was denied by a smart save

Antony was through again in the 25th minute, but Ben Godfrey was on hand to make an excellent last-ditch challenge on the Brazil international, before Rashford had a goal-bound strike blocked by Seamus Coleman.

Rashford was again denied by Pickford in the 28th minute; Fernandes then struck over the Everton crossbar in the 32nd minute, with the score somehow still goalless at Old Trafford.

Sabitzer hooked another effort over the crossbar in the 35th minute, but the breakthrough finally arrived shortly after, with McTominay finding the back of the net.

Sancho provided the assist, with the attacker brilliantly picking out the Scotland international, who smashed the ball past Pickford at his near post

Wan-Bissaka had one deflected over the Everton goal by Michael Keane in the 42nd minute, before Pickford kept out a strike from Antony in first-half stoppage time and Lisandro Martinez swept over from the resulting corner, with the Toffees somehow only one goal behind at the half-time interval.

Man United, who had 21 shots in the first half, were again on the front foot at the start of the second period, with Rashford, Antony, Sancho, Sabitzer and Fernandes all causing Everton plenty of issues.

The visitors had a half-chance to level in the 55th minute when James Tarkowski rose highest inside the penalty box to meet a free kick, but his header was always dropping over the crossbar.

Alex Iwobi had one deflected over the Man United crossbar in the 65th minute before James Garner had a shot charged down by Martinez, with Everton much improved in the second period.

Down the other end, Pickford pushed a Fernandes header over the crossbar after a brilliant pass from Sabitzer, before the Everton goalkeeper denied Wan-Bissaka from the resulting corner

Man United doubled their advantage in the 71st minute when an error from Everton captain Coleman allowed Rashford to break into a dangerous area and pick out Martial, who converted from close range.

Demarai Gray sent one wide of the far post in the 75th minute, before Christian Eriksen made his injury return for Man United in the 77th minute, with the Denmark international featuring for the first time since suffering an ankle injury at the end of January.

Fernandes twice had efforts kept out by Pickford late on, while Eriksen had a goal-bound strike blocked in the final exchanges, with Everton fortunate to only concede twice at Old Trafford.

Man United, who will be concerned by a possible late injury for Rashford, will now switch their attention to the Europa League, welcoming Sevilla to Old Trafford for the first leg of their quarter-final on Thursday, before returning to league action away to Nottingham Forest next Sunday.

Everton, meanwhile, will continue their battle against relegation with a home game against Fulham next Saturday

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