Everton strike late to deny Man Utd in six-goal thriller


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United missed the chance to move level on points with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 95th-minute equaliser salvaged a 3-3 draw for Everton at Old Trafford.

Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes put the Red Devils into a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time, but the visitors hit back with two goals in seven minutes from Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez.

Scott McTominay’s header 20 minutes from time restored United’s lead, but they again failed to hold on as Calvert-Lewin reacted quickest to a free-kick launched into the box deep into stoppage time.

City now enjoy a two-point lead and two games in hand over their local rivals ahead of their trip to defending champions Liverpool on Sunday.

Everton’s late show extends their unbeaten run on the road to seven games and moves Carlo Ancelotti’s men back up to sixth, three points off the top four.

Ahead of the game, the Munich air disaster — in which seven United players were killed 63 years ago — was remembered with wreaths laid by both captains.

A slow start followed that sombre note, but the match burst into life after Cavani’s excellent movement created space for the Uruguayan to head home Marcus Rashford’s pinpoint cross at the far post.

Ancelotti cut a frustrated figure on the touchline during the first-half as his side constantly played themselves into trouble rather than seeking out the pace of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin on the counter-attack.

The one time a long ball did find Richarlison he nearly caught out David de Gea with an audacious effort from a narrow angle.

United were dealt a blow six minutes before the break when Paul Pogba hobbled off with a thigh muscle injury to be replaced by Fred.

Pogba would have been a far better option on the edge of the box when the Brazilian dragged a shot wide moments later.

However, Fernandes is United’s star man from that range and showed why with a sumptuous lobbed effort over Robin Olsen for his 18th goal of the season.

At that stage, Solskjaer’s men looked in complete command, but they got a warning of what was about to come in first-half stoppage time when Calvert-Lewin slotted wide when one-on-one with De Gea.

The Spanish goalkeeper should have done much better four minutes after the break when he parried Calvert-Lewin’s effort into the path of Doucoure, who halved the Toffees deficit with a simple finish.

Doucoure also played his part in the equaliser as he picked out James, who produced a classy finish on his trusted left foot to this time give De Gea no chance.

But United benefited from a goalkeeper error at the other end when Olsen, deputising for the injured Jordan Pickford, let McTominay’s header from Luke Shaw’s free-kick slip through his grasp.

United should have put the game to bed as Rashford lashed wide after rounding Olsen.

And the hosts were punished for that profligacy when Calvert-Lewin slid home his 19th goal of the season for club and country.

kca /dj

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