M.E.N.

United go back to the bad old days with poor show­ing against Ever­ton

Stockport Times East - - CITY LIFE LOCAL -

that pu­bic ap­praisal?

If it was done to quickly re­pair the con­fi­fi­dence af­ter the 1- 0 de­feat in west Lon­don then it failed mis­er­ably.

If he just read it difff­fer­ently to most then he couldn’t fail to mis­read this one.

It was a re­turn to the old days of Moyes’ visit last Easter in his fi­fi­nal game and also a throw­back to early sea­son when United’s pos­ses­sion foot­ball got nowhere and de­fend­ing was frag­ile in the ex­treme.

You thought Van Gaal had con­signed this kind of strug­gle to his­tory.

But as well as some laboured build up re­turn­ing, so were the calls from the vis­it­ing sec­tion at Good­i­son for United to ‘attack, attack, attack.’

But it was the lack of a de­cent cre­ative pass and a solid rear­guard back­bone that brought so many haunt­ing mem­o­ries of Van Gaal’s ini­tial six months. It was the kind of mix of imag­i­na­tion and calm that Michael Car­rick brings to Van Gaal’s struc­ture. ThThThThThThThThThey missed it at Chelsea and again at Good­i­son.

But an ex­pen­sively as­sem­bled squad shouldn’t be so derailed and dis­jointed with­out one 33- year- old fi­fig­ure – no mat­ter how in­flflu­en­tial. United hit a brick wall ev­ery time they got to the fi­fi­fi­fi­fi­fi­fi­fi­nal third while Ever­ton eas­ily blud­geoned their way through a pa­per mache struc­ture.

On the one oc­ca­sion the Reds had opened up Ever­ton, Marouane Fel­laini bal­looned a great chance over to cancel out James McCarthy’s bustling, stum­bling opener that Paddy McNair and Da­ley Blind al­lowed with their flflimsy re­sis­tance.

United did sug­gest they’d got the hang of clear­ing Ever­ton’s cor­ners but a third suc­ces­sive Leighton Baines set piece, pre­vi­ously both cleared by Fel­laini, was seized on by a pow­er­ful run by John Stones.

United’s de­fence didn’t cover them­selves in glory ei­ther for the third as they stopped, arms raised en masse, for an offff­side that Kevin Mi­ral­las neatly avoided.

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