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Barclays Premier League

Goodison Park (ATT 35,494) 29th October 2011 - Kick off 12:00 Ref: M Halsey

Everton Everton vs Manchester United Man Utd

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Man Utd 1

J Hernandez (19)

Little Pea earns big win

Hernandez on target as United grind out three point haul on Merseyside

Last Updated: 29/10/11 5:23pm

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Manchester United ensured the ghosts of last weekend were at least partially exorcised as Javier Hernandez's first half effort was enough to earn them a hard fought win over Everton at Goodison Park.

Man of the match: Jones. Alongside Vidic he completely dominated the right side and limited any attacks being created. Moment of the match: Hernandez's goal was the spark the game needed and it proved to be the highlight of the match. Attempt of the match: Baines' free-kick hit the crossbar after a glorious attempt on the edge of the penalty area. Save of the match: Neither keeper was called into troublesome action but Howard denied Welbeck from close range with a strong tip over the bar. Talking Point: United bounce back after their mauling by Man City as they get back to winning ways in the title race.

It was more perfunctory than vintage United but in digging deep to grind out a three point haul that keeps them in contention with their Manchester neighbours, Sir Alex Ferguson's side did as he asked in putting to bed the darkest day in his 25-years at the club.

Reinstated to United's starting XI in a positive line-up that also included Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck, Chicharito did what he does best on 19 minutes by settling the contest from close range in converting Patrice Evra's low cross after a bright interchange between Welbeck and Tom Cleverley.

Everton were left to rue the width of David de Gea's crossbar as Leighton Baines whipped a delicious free-kick against the frame of United's goal towards the first half's close, while the away side's much maligned back four stood firm amid late pressure and a credible penalty appeal in the game's dying embers.

Ferguson had given Jonny Evans a vote of confidence following his sending off against City by restoring him in defence after suspension.

Evans took his place alongside Nemanja Vidic, himself sent off on UEFA Champions League duty recently, with Rio Ferdinand left on the bench.

Everton had problems with experienced pair Phil Neville and Tim Cahill ruled out, in-form Royston Drenthe suspended and defender Sylvain Distin unexpectedly missing from the teamsheet.

That meant Phil Jagielka, who had been doubtful due to a hairline toe fracture, was pressed back into service.

Bright start

Everton were the first side out of the blocks as Seamus Coleman burst down the right, cut inside Evra and fired a shot at De Gea with just 15 seconds on the clock.

The visitors started brightly too with Welbeck jinking into the area and pulling back for Park Ji-sung at the near post, but the Korean's effort was blocked by former United keeper Tim Howard.

A chance appeared to open up outside the box for Rooney, whose reception from the Goodison crowd was not too bitter, but referee Mike Halsey got in the way and he stabbed wide.

United claimed the lead when an Evra cross found its way to Hernandez in front of goal. Jagielka was unable to reach the ball from the left and Hernandez tapped in unmarked.

Welbeck almost sneaked in on goal when Jagielka headed back towards Howard after an awkward bounce but the American just beat the striker to the ball.

Everton responded as Leon Osman first won a free-kick off Vidic on the edge of the box after beating the Serbian with a nice piece of skill.

Another former United player, Louis Saha, shot into the wall and Osman forced De Gea to save when the ball was eventually worked back in. Moments later Rodwell seized possession but drove wide.

Everton maintained the pressure as Marouane Fellaini won another free-kick in a good position five minutes before the interval when felled by Darren Fletcher.

Baines, who missed a penalty in the Carling Cup in midweek, stepped up and curled a superb effort against the crossbar.

Saha had another couple of opportunities before the break but failed to trouble De Gea.

Some intricate one-touch passing from United put Welbeck through in the opening moments of the second half but the striker was unable to control the final ball.

Rodwell extended De Gea for the first time when he cut inside onto his left foot from the right but the Spaniard produced a fine save to his right.

United immediately countered as Tom Cleverley, making his first Premier League appearance in seven weeks after recovering from a foot injury, released Hernandez with a brilliant long pass.

Hernandez came inside but lacked options and slowed, allowing Everton to come clear.

That proved to be Cleverley's last major involvement as he limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Nani.

Smart stop
Hernandez then picked out a charging Welbeck with a crossfield pass but Howard reacted quickly to palm out his volley.

Everton pressed again with Saha twice having shots blocked in a goalmouth scramble before Rodwell blazed over. Coleman got an attempt on target but again failed to trouble De Gea.

The game went into six minutes of injury time, caused in part by an injury to an assistant referee which forced fourth official Phil Dowd into emergency action on the line.

Home fans wanted a penalty when Magaye Gueye went down in the area but replays showed the Frenchman slipping and colliding with Evra.

After that United held firm. They may have beaten Aldershot in the Carling Cup on Tuesday but this victory, in spite of the performance, will do much more for their confidence as the shockwaves from Old Trafford last week continue to reverberate.

EvertonTeam StatisticsManchester United
0Goals1
01st Half Goals1
8Shots on Target4
6Shots off Target1
5Blocked Shots2
4Corners1
13Fouls10
3Offsides4
3Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
82.1Passing Success82.3
23Tackles18
87Tackles Success83.3
52.3Possession47.7
53.3Territorial Advantage46.7
446Total Passes413
25Total Crosses9
149Lost Balls151
64Recoveries50

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 35 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 35 63
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 35 49
9 Newcastle United 35 46
10 Stoke City 35 44
11 Crystal Palace 35 43
12 West Ham United 35 37
13 Swansea City 35 36
14 Hull City 33 36
15 Aston Villa 34 35
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Cardiff City 35 30
19 Fulham 35 30
20 Sunderland 34 29

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