Having thrown away so many points with games they’ve drawn that they should have won, Manchester United will be furious that they couldn’t see out Sunday’s game against Everton. With the scoreline 1-0, thanks to a superb finish from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the first half, substitute Marouane Fellaini gave away a penalty even though Idrissa Gueye was already on his way down before Fellaini made contact. Both Marcos Rojo and Gareth Barry should have been sent off within the first 20 minutes, yet both got away with their offences.
Leighton Baines, whom David de Gea had denied from the penalty spot before, made no mistake this time despite the goalkeeper going the right way, and the game finished 1-1.
Jose Mourinho can bemoan his team’s bad luck, particularly when they’ve had stonewall penalties not given this season only for Everton to get a soft decision on Sunday afternoon, but United failed to wrap up their win so only deserved a point.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial both put in another good performance (particularly the former) having been challenged by Mourinho to up their game. With so much competition for this position on the field, it’s good to see these two playing better.
Phil Jones had become a bit of a laughing stock at United between his poor performances and regular injuries. However as the weeks go by, Jones is looking more and more like the defender United had hoped he would develop in to when they bought him.
Finally, strikers need confidence so it was positive to see Ibrahimovic score his sixth goal in his last five games, particularly with such a finish.
Another two points dropped for United that they simply can’t afford to give away. The season is long but when teams above them, (namely Manchester City and Liverpool) have lost, United need to capitalise. Time and again they give their points away.
Paul Pogba also gave the ball away time and again, even in situations with little to no pressure, which just isn’t good enough for a player in his role. This was his worst performance for a while but it appears place in the team is set in stone.
United have now conceded more goals in the final 10 minutes than any other team. Whether that’s something to do with the players’ belief or instructions to try and defend a lead instead of going for another goal, it’s not acceptable to keep failing to win.
Manager rating out of 10
5/10 — Mourinho got the starting XI right and United played well enough for the first hour. But United invited too much pressure as the game went on instead of going for the kill, which surely must be an instruction from the manager. To bring on Fellaini for the final few minutes with the intent of seeing out the game is bonkers. With players like Daley Blind and Juan Mata both available, both of whom keep the ball well and are creative with their passing, to bring on Fellaini was unforgivable.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David de Gea, 7 — After a fairly quiet first half, he was alert to make a fantastic save against Mirallas. In the final 15 minutes he was called on a few times to make top saves but can’t be blamed for conceding.
DF Antonio Valencia, 7 — Having been named United’s player of the month, Valencia had another good performance at right back. Everton didn’t create much from his side of the pitch and he was useful on the attack.
DF Phil Jones, 7 — Jones must be due an injury soon as he’s playing very well since returning a few weeks ago. Romelu Lukaku was anonymous thanks to Jones.
DF Marcos Rojo, 5 — Lucky to escape an early red card after going in with two feet on Gueye. Early in the second half, Mirallas went straight past him but thankfully De Gea was equal to the ensuing shot. Won quite a few headers in the air but the return of Eric Bailly to the bench should see Rojo out of the starting team soon.
DF Matteo Darmian, 6 — Guilty of flying in and allowing Everton to form an attack early on. He did OK but he shouldn’t be seen as United’s long-term left-back.
MF Ander Herrera, 7 — The Spaniard saw loads of the ball and helped United keep possession. He had a great chance to put United 2-0 up but he sliced the ball and saw his shot come back off the post.
MF Michael Carrick, 7 — Made a crucial intervention at the back post to stop an early attempt from Everton.
FW Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 7 — Involved in so much of United’s best attacking movements, particularly at the beginning of the second half when United started to assert some dominance. His impact faded later on with him picking up a slight injury before being replaced for the final five minutes.
FW Paul Pogba, 5 — Replaced the suspended Wayne Rooney in the No.10 role but had another poor performance here. He was trying hard but not much was working for him. He conceded possession far too regularly, particularly in the attacking third, and United suffered as a consequence.
FW Anthony Martial, 7 — Enjoyed tussling with Seamus Coleman and put in an impressive defensive display, as well as doing well going forward. Played in the brilliant ball for Ibrahimovic that saw United go 1-0 up. He had a few shots but didn’t worry the goalkeeper. Replaced in the final 10 minutes.
ST Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 7 — Before his goal, he’d had a disappointing game, summed up by his poor free kick that he hit straight in to the wall. But he showed what he is capable of when putting United ahead after the goalkeeper rushed out of his box. Ibrahimovic still had lots to do despite the mistake and will be rightly pleased with his finish.
FW Marcus Rashford, NR — Tried a clever flick on the edge of the box in injury time and lost possession.
MF Marouane Fellaini, NR — Gave away a penalty. Did nothing else.
Scott is one of ESPN FC’s Manchester United bloggers. Follow him on Twitter: @R_o_M.