A thrilling comeback from David Moyes’ Everton side puts a huge dent into United’s aspirations of a record 20th league title.
The 4-4 draw means a victory for Manchester City in next Monday’s Manchester Derby will see them return to the top of the league on goal difference for the first time in two months.
Everton took the lead on 33 minutes when Nikica Jelavic’s header looped over David de Gea from a tight angle for the Croatian striker’s sixth goal in seven games but it didn’t take long for a Manchester United response when former Blue Wayne Rooney glanced home Nani’s exquisite cross from close range, five minutes before half-time
The Red Devils soon took charge of the proceedings with Danny Welbeck’s magnificent strike into the top corner and Nani’s delightful chip putting them 3-1 up on the hour mark. Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini pulled one back for the Toffees on 66 minutes with a volley from the edge of the area but some brilliant link-up play between Rooney and Welbeck saw the former restore United’s two goal cushion just three minutes later.
However, David Moyes’ side persevered and two quickfire goals from Jelavic and Steven Pienaar pulled the scores level again with five minutes of normal time remaining. Rio Ferdinand almost secured a dramatic winner for United in the final seconds but his effort from the edge of the area was tipped over the bar by Tim Howard.
This spirited fightback from Everton was just what was needed to boost morale after the previous weekend’s heart-breaking defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final. Contrastingly, it could well prove to be a hugely significant and costly two points dropped in the title race by United and the result places even more importance on the derby clash on 30 April.
22nd April 2012 – Premier League