A Chicharito goal helped Manchester United get back to winning ways in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory, as Sir Alex Ferguson's side held off Everton, which was unfortunate not to earn at least a point in a close game at Goodison Park.
The Mexican's effort in the first half was stoutly defended by the visitors as David Moyes' hosts were more than equal to the champions for much of the contest.
With both sides coming off the back of home league derby defeats; Everton lost by two to Liverpool at the start of the month, and Manchester United was humiliated by Manchester City last Sunday, a win for both sides would go a long way to heal those painful wounds.
In what had been a troublesome six days for the Old Trafford club one glimmer of good news emanating from the beleaguered camp was the contract extension of the Chicharito, who confirmed his desire to stay with the Premier League champions.
Ferguson’s faith in the striker paid off in the first half when a slick move from the left of midfield which involved Cleverley and Danny Welbeck opened space for Patrice Evra in the channel, and the French international’s cross across the face of goal gave the Mexican a simple tap-in from only a few yards to give the visitors the lead. It would have been harder to miss from such close range.
Everton’s best chance to level up came shortly before the break when Darren Fletcher fouled Marouane Fellaini on the edge of the box. Leighton Baines would have been licking his lips with the prospect of the range of the foul and his sweetly struck shot rose and fell over the wall only to smash against the crossbar with De Gea reduced to helpless spectator.
The home side continued to huff and puff and a frantic spell late on could have yielded a penalty when an Everton corner was not dealt with cleanly referee Mark Halsey didn’t see enough and kept the whistle from his mouth which summarized the day Everton had.
An unusual substitution took place as the game was drawing to its conclusion when assistant referee Andy Halliday slipped and injured himself meaning Phil Dowd was called upon to run the line for the final moments.
The resulting added time was enough for Everton to claim for another penalty when Magaye Gueye also slipped as he was challeging for the ball with Evra. Halsey said no again and that was that for Everton.
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