Mexican striker nets early to hand Red Devils a vital away victory as they start on road to recovery following derby defeat last weekendA Chicharito goal helped Manchester United get back to winning ways in the Premier League as Sir Alex Ferguson's side held off Everton, who were 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 were humiliated by Manchester City last Sunday, a win for both sides would go a long way to heal those painful wounds.
Both managers made changes for this fixture, with Moyes bringing in Seamus Coleman and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to reinforce the defences. Sir Alex Ferguson made wholesale changes, as would be expected, with Rio Ferdinand and Nani dropping to the bench as the Scot brought back Tom Cleverley into the starting XI after injury.
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 the scores 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, and his sweetly-struck shot rose and fell over the wall only to smash against the crossbar with David De Gea reduced to a helpless spectator.
An unusual substitution took place as the game was drawing to it's 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 a penalty when Magaye Gueye slipped as he was challenging for the ball with Evra. The referee said no, and that was that for Everton, while United could celebrate a morale-boosting three points.
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