Everton 1-3 Manchester United
- Goals: Bernard (£5.8m)| Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) x2, Edinson Cavani (£8.0m)
- Assists: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m)| Luke Shaw (£4.9m), Marcus Rashford (£9.6m), Fernandes
- Bonus: Fernandes x3, Bernard x2, Shaw x1
Fancy a Bruno?
The football spotlight may currently be on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – though this win will have helped – but the FPL gaze is fixed firmly on the round of games following the international break.
Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) staked his claim for the Gameweek 9 armband with two goals and an assist at Everton on Saturday lunchtime.
The midfielder’s first was a well-placed header, which he planted past Jordan Pickford (£4.9m) after Everton failed to track Fernandes’ run into the box.
The Portuguese maestro was attempting to assist Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) for United’s second goal with an exquisite chipped cross from inside the box.
Rashford barely missed the ball as he attempted to make contact but Bruno’s cross touched off the far post before rolling into the Everton net.
“I don’t care if Marcus [Rashford] touched it a little bit it can be his goal, it is no problem for me. Most important for me, as a number 10, is serving my team-mates.” – Bruno Fernandes
The icing on the cake for Fernandes owners came in the game’s final passage of play. As Everton searched for an equaliser deep into injury time, United managed to stage a last-gasp counter-attack.
Fernandes, unsurprisingly at the heart of the move, found substitute Edinson Cavani (£8.0m), who slotted past Pickford from close range.
The Portugal man has had a hand in 15 Premier League goals in his 10 away matches in the competition (10 goals, five assists). That’s the most goal involvements a player has had in their first 10 games on the road in the league.
While West Brom do visit Old Trafford in Gameweek 9, a home game against leaky opposition is unlikely to waver the confidence of Fernandes owners and investors.
Everton have now lost three games in a row, having begun the season with four straight wins.
It is undoubtedly a sticky patch of form for the Toffees, though Carlo Ancelotti’s men may have the fixtures to play themselves back into form.
After a trip to Fulham in Gameweek 9, Everton take on Leeds at home before another away day at Burnley.
It is the immediate visit to Craven Cottage which puts a captaincy focus on Everton attackers, though Ancelotti’s admission that “we are really bad at the moment” does not fill one with confidence.
The Toffees scored against Manchester United with their only shot on target, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) eventually awarded an assist for his flick-on which allowed Bernard to convert.
The striker’s headed flick came from a launched Pickford ball upfield, with United’s well-scrutinised backline failing to deal with a relatively simple situation.
Everton’s lack of penetration for the rest of the game, after that 20th minute goal, further highlighted their issues in attack.
James Rodriguez (£7.9m) made his return from injury at Goodison Park, lasting 79 minutes. The Colombian failed to get a shot off or create a chance in the tie.
However, Calvert-Lewin was at the end of an Everton move begun by Rodriguez after five minutes.
The midfielder’s trademark crossfield pass found Digne, who made a run down the line to allow Bernard to cut inside. His cross found the head of Calvert-Lewin, whose effort hit the stanchion behind De Gea’s goal.
Apart from that early moment of attacking intent and the goal, Everton failed to really trouble David de Gea (£5.4m).
Richarlison (£7.8m) will be back to bolster Everton’s attack in Gameweek 9, though both the forward and Rodriguez face long-haul trips over the international break.
On the Brazilian, Ancelotti said before the match:
“It is impossible to replace Richarlison. There is no player in the world like Richarlison. So we have to replace him with another player with different quality. We have to change a little bit our style of play without Richarlison, but the defeat [against Newcastle] was not because Richarlison was not there. It was because we did not play well. Simple.” – Carlo Ancelotti
Gunnar be sore
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was visibly frustrated in his post-match interview with BT Sport, endearing himself to FPL managers across the globe by having a pop at the fixture schedulers.
The Manchester United boss fumed:
“We were set up to fail. The kick-off time set us up to fail. We have been to Turkey, played loads of games this season already, we got back Thursday morning and we are playing Saturday lunchtime, it’s an absolute shambles. Players this season, in these times, a pandemic, mentally and physically it’s draining.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Luke Shaw (£4.9m) – who assisted Fernandes’ header – appears to be the biggest casualty of United’s fixture glut, while Rashford owners will need to keep an eye on the attacker’s status ahead of Gameweek 9.
“Luke has a hamstring (injury). That might be a long one. Rashford, I think he’s struggling. It looked like (a shoulder injury).” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mason Greenwood (£7.2m), meanwhile, was ruled out through illness.
Pick your battles
For the 7.3% of FPL bosses who own Pickford, having a playing second goalkeeper now seems a necessity.
The England net-minder got himself into bother again in Gameweek 8, dropping a Juan Mata (£5.8m) free-kick before combining with Michael Keane (£5.1m) to effectively take Harry Maguire (£5.4m) out.
The VAR ruled that the collision did not warrant a penalty, though it’s undoubtedly another mark in the copybook against Pickford.
Ahead of kick-off at Goodison Park, Ancelotti said of his goalkeeper selection:
“I consider the goalkeeper a player, so it can be rotated as other positions on the pitch. Robin Olsen (£4.5m) did well against Newcastle and I hope Jordan Pickford can do the same today.” – Carlo Ancelotti
Of his team’s display and current form, the Everton manager explained:
“The problem was that after we scored we were not able to defend well, and they took advantage. They were able to score easily. We said before the game we had to defend better and we did not defend good enough. We were slow at the back, we have to improve. I hope that after the international break we will back in a different shape. It is not only a problem of the defenders, it is all of the team. I know how to manage difficulties, every year you have them. We can start again after the break, we are really bad at the moment but we started well.” – Carlo Ancelotti
Everton XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Digne, Keane, Holgate, Coleman; Sigurdsson (Iwobi 66′), Allan, Doucouré; Bernard, Calvert-Lewin, Rodriguez (Tosun 79′).
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Shaw (Tuanzebe 66′), Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, B Fernandes, Mata (Pogba 81′); Martial (Cavani 81′).
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 8
- Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Burnley
- Southampton 2-0 Newcastle United
- Everton 1-3 Manchester United
- Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds United
- Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield United
- West Ham United 1-0 Fulham
- West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Leicester City 1-0 Wolves
- Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
- Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa
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