Manchester United Held To Shock Draw
Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United were held to a shocking 4–4 draw by a highly determined and well organised Everton team at their Old Trafford home on Sunday afternoon. As a result, the gap to second-placed Manchester City has now been cut to three points with only three more matches left of the campaign.
The encounter was indeed a thriller, with both Manchester United and Everton giving everything they had. The Merseysiders went ahead thanks to a perfect headed goal from Croatia international frontman Nikica Jelavic in the 33rd minute of the bizarre clash. Four minutes before the sound of the half time signal, however, bandy legged flankman Luis Nani found Wayne Rooney who nodded the ball past helpless shot stopper Tim Howard and into the net from six yards out. Twelve minutes into the second period, Manchester United found themselves in the lead as England forward Danny Welbeck tricked defensive midfielder John Heitinga before he expertly curled his shot into the top corner. And four minutes later midfield workhorse Michael Carrick found the ever present Danny Welbeck who flicked the ball onto Nani who coolly dinked the ball into the back of the net to make the scoreboard read 3–1 in the favour of the Old Trafford side. After the morale sapping Manchester United charge, the Everton players maintained enough composure to reduce the deficit as Belgium international playmaker Marouane Fellaini volleyed home a whipped cross ball from forward thinking right wingback Tony Hibbert in the 67th minute of the play only for Sir Alex Ferguson´s men to restore their two-goal lead when Rooney and Welbeck exchanged passes for the former to record his 180th goal in 362 first class appearances for The Reds. Then in the 83rd minute, The Toffees scored their third goal of the afternoon as Fellaini found Jelavic who produced an accurate shot into the bottom corner. With just five minutes left on referee Mike Jones´s watch, South African wingman Steven Pienaar eventually managed to net the last goal of the contest to make the final score 4–4. Next up for Manchester United is the derby match against Manchester City at Eastlands in a week´s time. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Nani, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck. Everton Team: Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka, Johnny Heitinga, Sylvain Distin, Leon Osman, Philip Neville, Marouane Fellaini, Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic. Substitutes: Phil Jones, Javier Hernandez.