Manchester United 4 – 4 Everton (Premier League, Old Trafford, 22nd April 2012)
WHAT just happened? Seriously, what just happened? Answers on the back of a postcard please. In the past Given to Score has been at the front of those who preach that Manchester United forever choose the hard road; sometimes I’m sure we’d all love for that not to be the case. Let’s not dwell on what this means for the title race, I’m sure a few red tops are already preparing hyperbolic headlines to show that United bottled the league in our own back yard; we can be equally sure that a few people in red tops might well agree with them.
Let’s get the maths out of the way now then; it’s most likely going to be a three point gap, no-one really gives Wolves a snowball’s chance in hell of gaining anything against City. So, that being the case, we go to the Council House and we win, we win at ours against Swansea and we fucking win against Sunderland on the last day of the season if we bloody need to. No more arsing around, we just have to do it. The eight point gap and their stumble at Swansea was nice but deep down, didn’t you think it was too comfortable? Not so deep down, you knew it was going to come down to that game against City.
Now for the nitty gritty; it was a great game for the neutral and Everton fan amongst us (not to mention City fans). Every time Man United attacked it looked like they might score, which is a good thing because usually we needed to; because every time Everton attacked they did. Phillip, squire, you had a great game, it seemed that at every main point of action you were involved, you were there to expertly mug Nani when we looked dangerous and though you probably should have cleared the ball that lead to Welbeck’s goal, the Rooney header was just one of those things.
Talking of headers, the Everton one just after the half hour mark from Jelavic was a class effort and it got Everton everything they deserved at that point, having started the game positively, Manchester United should know by now that if they phone in the opening 20 or 30 minutes they will get punished against most opposition.
The goal from Danny Welbeck was quality and was good enough to win any game but where we normally know enough to slow the pace and close the game down, today we didn’t; it was like watching Arsenal. The team should be very angry with themselves, there was a golden opportunity there to take a step that would have meant we could win the league on their turf, but no, we had to go and give them hope which of course they clung to because expecting Wolves to mount some kind of resistance is like expecting your Dad to like tatoo you just got.
It’s in our own hands, no-one elses and if we blow it from here we have a summer of England matches to avoid until we can put this right. Let’s not give City that much power, rolling over at Old Trafford was bad enough, let’s snuff them out of the title race on their own patch. Be honest for a moment, we kind of have to now.
Well done Everton, they never gave in right until the final whistle, they remind me of my team, just not today.