Fernandes, Rashford penalties give Man Utd 2-0 win over Everton

March 10, 2024 7:33 am

[Source: Reuters]

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford fired in penalties to give Manchester United a 2-0 win over Everton, their first Premier League victory in three games and one that will no doubt fan the embers of their top-four hopes.

Erik ten Hag’s team remain sixth but with 47 points they crept closer to fourth-placed Aston Villa on 55 with a game in hand. Fifth-placed Tottenham, who host Villa on Sunday, have 50 points and two games in hand.

“Every game we have to win, so every game is a must-need,” Ten Hag said. “We could have scored three or four goals not just the two penalties. We could have been calmer and more composed on the ball.”

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Sean Dyche’s Everton — winless in 11 straight league games — are 16th on 25 points, five points above the drop zone.

Both penalties came courtesy of clumsy tackles in the box on Alejandro Garnacho and both were against the run of play, with Everton the dominant team for long stretches against a United midfield that repeatedly gave away the ball.

“We have to win every single game,” Garnacho told TNT Sports. “The manager wants me to go one V one, to shoot, to dribble. I won two penalties. It’s important.

“It’s like a dream with my age. A full Old Trafford stadium chanting my name is incredible. I am very proud and happy,” he said.

Fernandes fired in the first from the spot in the 12th minute, and United’s captain then handed the ball to Rashford to take the second in the 36th minute.

“We both kick the penalties. I asked Marcus if he wanted to take and he said he was confident,” Fernandes said. “I felt I had my one, Rashy could get his goal from the penalty.”

Rashford stutter-stepped before sending keeper Jordan Pickford the wrong way.

Fernandes became the club’s all-time leading scorer from penalties with 29 conversions, ahead of former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s 28.

The Portuguese international almost had a second goal with a beautiful free kick in the first half that Pickford had to leap high to bat away.

Garnacho almost had a goal of his own when Fernandes played him in in the second half, but the 19-year-old launched it just over the bar.

Everton had 23 shots to United’s 15 but squandered their chances with poor finishing touches, including a terrific late chance that saw Lewis Dobbin send a pass across goal that a sliding Dominic Calvert-Lewin was just a step too slow to connect with.

United were coming off successive league losses, to Fulham and Manchester City, that had ended an unbeaten run of four league wins.

“It was important. We had one bad result against Fulham in this calendar year,” Ten Hag said. “We had to put this right and keep the pressure on the teams above us. There are many games to play. Now we are back. We will keep pressure on them and see what happens.”

United were missing several key players including Rasmus Hojlund, who had scored in six consecutive games before suffering a muscle injury that has sidelined him since he netted two in United’s 2-1 win at Luton Town on Feb. 18.

Everton are now one draw or loss away from tying their record for consecutive Premier League games without a win (12 in 1994).

“Very frustrating as you can imagine, and we’ve had a run where we’ve been performing correctly in so many ways, (but) the scoreline is what’s important and that’s what we get on the wrong side of,” Dyche said.