Bruno Fernandes scored for a third game running as Manchester United recovered from an early David de Gea error and survived a controversial late VAR call to draw 1-1 with Everton in Sunday’s Premier League clash.
United were seeking a third top-flight win on the bounce for the first time since January 2019, but in the end they were grateful for a point in a fiery game at Goodison Park that saw Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti shown a red card after the final whistle.
Fernandes got the better of Jordan Pickford with a long-range effort to cancel out Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener, the in-form forward profiting from a poor De Gea clearance inside the opening 160 seconds.
Everton hit the post in the second half and thought they had won the contest in the second minute of added time when Calvert-Lewin’s shot deflected in off Harry Maguire, but it was ruled out for offside by VAR and Ancelotti was shown a red for his protests.
Ancelotti’s side were gifted an early lead as De Gea dithered too long on the ball and was closed down by Calvert-Lewin, who stuck out a leg to divert the clearance into an empty net.
De Gea pulled off a low save to thwart Calvert-Lewin less than two minutes later but United, beaten 4-0 in this corresponding fixture last season, soon grew into the contest.
Nemanja Matic curled a shot against the crossbar and the visitors’ pressure told as Fernandes’ swerving effort found net, despite Pickford getting down to his right.
United were given a scare shortly before the hour mark when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick came back off the post, with Richarlison unable to beat De Gea from the rebound.
Pickford produced two quickfire saves to deny Fernandes and substitute Odion Ighalo, though more drama was to follow in added time.
Calvert-Lewin’s shot diverted off Maguire and past De Gea, only for the video assistant referee to rule it out as Sigurdsson was obstructing the view of the United keeper while on the floor in the six-yard box.
What does it mean? Fortunate United extend unbeaten run
A third league win in a row may have eluded United, as it so often has done over the last 12 months, but they are now unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions and are back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea – and this has to go down as a positive result given the late scare.
Solskjaer’s side can take some momentum into their crunch games with Manchester City and top-four rivals Tottenham in their next two league games, as well as the FA Cup and Europa League last-16 ties with Derby County and LASK respectively.
Bruno maintains impressive form
Fernandes scored from the penalty spot in the wins over Watford and Club Brugge and banged in his first United goal from open play in this draw. The January signing has been directly involved in 19 goals in 21 league games this term for United and former club Sporting CP.
Horror moment for De Gea
De Gea had the ball at his feet for six seconds and had three touches to set himself before blasting it straight at Calvert-Lewin for Everton’s early opener.
He has now made seven errors leading directly to an opposition goal in the Premier League since the start of 2018-19, the joint-most alongside Martin Dubravka and Bernd Leno.
Key Opta Facts
– Since Ancelotti’s first game with Everton on December 26, only Liverpool (30) and Man City (19) have won more points in the Premier League than the Toffees (18).
– Everton have yet to lose at Goodison Park in the Premier League since sacking Marco Silva, winning four and drawing three games since his departure.
– United have lost just one of their last 11 games against Everton in all competitions (W6 D4 L1), losing 0-4 at Goodison Park in April 2019.
– Calvert-Lewin has scored 13 Premier League goals this season – the last English player to score more in a single campaign for Everton was Paul Rideout in 1994-95 (14).
– Since Ancelotti’s first game in charge, Calvert-Lewin has scored more Premier League goals than any other player in the competition (8).
United travel to Derby in the last 16 of the FA Cup on Thursday and host Manchester City in the Premier League three days later, the same day Everton head to Chelsea.