BENITEZ IS DELIVERING FOR EVERTON
RAFAEL Benitez’s appointment as Everton boss was not a popular one with fans given his past as a Champions League-winning Liverpool manager, but the Spaniard’s tactical nous has the Toffees dreaming of European football.
Everton has lost just one of Benitez’s first seven Premier League games in charge despite a limited budget due to financial fairplay restrictions and injuries to strikers Dominic CalvertLewin and Richarlison.
A 1–1 draw away to Manchester United kept Benitez’s men level on points with the Red Devils and Liverpool, and one ahead of Manchester City before the champions’ trip to Anfield overnight.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could afford the luxury of bringing Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba on as substitutes, while Benitez had to name three teens to fill his bench.
But a point was the least the visitors deserved from a performance that married the defensive organisation Benitez’s sides are famous for with a potent threat on the counter.
Everton’s goal showed the impact the 61-year-old has had in just a few months.
After an Everton outlay of £240m in transfer fees in the past three years, Benitez’s spending was limited to £1.7m to bring in Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend during the transfer window – both have shone as Everton has taken 14 points from a possible 21.
Elsewhere, Chelsea beat Southampton 3–1 to go to the top of the Premier League table.