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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


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
01st Half Goals1
8Shots on Target4
6Shots off Target1
5Blocked Shots2
3Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
82.1Passing Success82.3
87Tackles Success83.3
53.3Territorial Advantage46.7
446Total Passes413
25Total Crosses9
149Lost Balls151

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30