Man Utd launch FA Cup campaign with Everton win
Manchester United heaped the pressure on Everton boss Frank Lampard on Friday, overcoming a howler from goalkeeper David de Gea to win the FA Cup third-round tie 3-1.
Everton travelled to Old Trafford in trepidation after slipping into the Premier League relegation zone this week following a chastening 4-1 home hammering at the hands of Brighton.
But they made the worst possible start, with Brazil forward Antony scoring in just the fourth minute.
They were level 10 minutes later after Conor Coady pounced on De Gea’s embarrassing error but the Everton defender put the ball in his own net early in the second half to hand the initiative back to the home side.
Marcus Rashford increased Manchester United’s lead in the dying seconds, scoring from the penalty spot.
United won the most recent of their 12 FA Cups in 2016 while Everton’s win against United in the 1995 Wembley final was the last time they won a trophy.
The Red Devils — hunting their first silverware since 2017 — are in fourth spot in the Premier League in Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge and are through to the League Cup quarter-finals.
The in-form team opened the scoring when the impressive Rashford surged down the left and into the penalty area before firing the ball across the box to the fast-arriving Antony.
Moments later Anthony Martial flashed just wide and Everton appeared to be facing an arduous night.
De Gea error
But Demarai Gray gave United a warning when he smashed a shot against the foot of the post from just outside the area and minutes later Everton were level in bizarre circumstances.
Amadou Onana won the ball on the edge of the box and fed Neal Maupay, who steered the ball towards the near post.
De Gea could have used his hands but the ball somehow squeezed through his legs as he clung to the post with one hand and Coady had the easiest of finishes.
The mood of the match changed but United still looked dangerous on their forays forward, with Jordan Pickford denying Martial after a lightning counter-attack.
Ten Hag urged the United fans to turn up the volume as he came out after half-time and they were quickly back in front, with Rashford once again playing a crucial role.
The England forward cut in from the left and drove into the Everton box, beating Seamus Coleman to send in a low ball which Coady turned into his own net.
United continued to probe for openings as fans taunted Lampard with chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning”, with Bruno Fernandes testing Everton goalkeeper Pickford from distance.
Everton, showing an admirable fighting spirit, had the ball in the net through substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin but the goal was ruled out for an offside by VAR earlier in the move.
Rashford added gloss to the scoreline from the spot after Alejandro Garnacho was brought down.