Everton vs. Manchester United  1 - 0

Article

Vidic sure United would equalise

21 August 2012 11:16

Nemanja Vidic says he believed 'until the last minute' Manchester United would score in their 1-0 defeat to Everton on Monday.

A sustained period of late pressure came to nothing for United as Marouane Fellaini's lone goal made the difference in a opening loss for last season's English Premier League runners-up.

"We knew it would be a hard game," club captain Vidic told MUTV.

"They did what they're best at - playing long balls and focusing on set-pieces. They had a few chances and in the end deserved to score, but we're never happy when we concede from a set-piece.

"We had some possession but we weren't clinical. When you go away from home you expect the home side to have some chances, but we need to be more clinical."

A high rate of injuries for United meant midfielder Michael Carrick was forced to deputize at the back alongside Vidic, who refused to blame a makeshift back-line for the result.

"When you come to places like Everton who will play long balls into the box you need big, strong defenders, but we won't use injuries as an excuse," he said.

"I thought the players who came in gave their best and hopefully we'll have a couple of defenders ready for the next game.

"Towards the end of the game Everton looked a bit tired and I believed, even up until the last minute, we would score because we had some good possession and they sat back a bit. Unfortunately we just couldn't get the goal.

"It wasn't a great game but we're already looking forward to the next one. We've lost our first match (of the season) in the past and finished well so hopefully we can win our next game and go on a long run."

United now prepare to host Fulham on Saturday.

Article

Proud Moyes praises ´great start´

21 August 2012 01:52

Everton manager David Moyes was in a confident mood after starting the season in style with a 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Marouane Fellaini was the hero for Everton, scoring the only goal and starring in a superb display, and speaking after the match, Moyes was understandably proud of his team and keen to enjoy the victory.

"It was a great result, great for the crowd. Goodison was at its best tonight and that was partly because the players performed and their attitude and commitment," he told Sky Sports.

"It is a great start, but only a start. You don't get carried away, but it isn't very often you beat Manchester United. So I'll enjoy it, the players will enjoy it but we will move on quickly."

The Scot also warned that his team will be a force to be reckoned with this season and insisted Goodison Park would be a difficult ground for teams to visit.

"I thought the team that finished last season did well and I said if I could keep that team we would continue to do well," he said.

"We've added one or two to it, but who knows? The Premier League is a tough league.

"As I alluded to earlier, I don't think anyone was considering Everton tonight, there was too much attention on United. I think a lot of people forgot Everton aren't a bad team and Goodison is a really difficult place to come and win."

The game also saw Robin van Persie make his Manchester United debut, but Moyes said the pre-match hype had not distracted his players.

"We weren't making any headlines before this match tonight, it was all about Manchester United, and rightly so, but you mustn't forget Everton aren't a bad side either," he stated.

"Our defence did really well tonight because when we got the goal as expected United put us under lots of pressure.

"If you lose concentration or turn off for a minute they are likely to punish you but I think we defended really well tonight and we caused them some problems with the ball."

Alex Ferguson said he did not use van Persie enough against Everton.

"We played around him too much, we didn't show enough penetration," Ferguson said.

"With Robin in your team you know you want to use his ability against centre-backs in situations he is very good at - but we didn't use him enough."

Ferguson had to deploy a make-shift defence with Michael Carrick at centre-back and Antonio Valencia at right-back, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans all injured, but refused to criticise the backline despite struggling to cope with Fellaini.

"He (Fellaini) is a handful: he is a big, tall, gangly lad and they just lumped the ball forward to him, that's all they did," the Scot said.

"They worked from that base all the time and they got a goal from him, so it's justified.

"Centre-back is a problem but we coped quite well, I don't think you can criticise their performance in that respect.

"It was just difficult to handle him when they were knocking these balls up to him.

"Michael did fine, good on the ball and applied himself well, they all applied themselves well."

Article

Rooney calls for United focus

19 August 2012 15:05

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has urged his team to focus against Everton at Goodison Park on Monday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men were leading Everton 4-2 with less than 10 minutes to go in April when goals from Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini grabbed an unlikely draw and allowed Manchester City the chance to leapfrog their city rivals at the top of the table.

Rooney is expecting another tough match against his former club, but has urged his side to stay focused, particularly if they go ahead.

"I know as an Evertonian, growing up, playing for Everton against Manchester United, when United go to Goodison the whole place is lifted - the fans, they make it more difficult," he told the club's website.

"We know it's going to be a really tough game because, the one thing about Everton is that they work extremely hard. They are a really fit team. You need to keep the ball well and keep possession and try and tie them down.

"They have got a couple of good results against us in the last couple of seasons when we really should have won the games. We need to make sure if we do go ahead, we stay focused and see the game out."

The England international also said he felt last season's eight-goal thriller cost his team the English Premier League title, but is hopeful United can emerge victorious on Monday.

"That game probably did cost us the league," Rooney said.

"That was really disappointing for us, so we hope we can go there and get the three points this time. It's a really tough first game even though, over the last few years, Everton haven't really started well in the league."

Article

United ready to ´go again´, says Carrick

19 August 2012 12:35

Michael Carrick said it is business as usual for Manchester United as the 2011-12 Premier League runners-up look to regain the title.

The 31-year-old midfielder has acknowledged the pain of being pipped to the post in the dying moments of the season by 'noisy neighbours' Manchester City on goal difference alone, but insisted United - with the addition of striker Robin van Persie - will come back stronger.

"What happened takes some getting over. It's not easy. It was a huge blow, the way it happened," Carrick told reporters.

"Nobody could have predicted that and we never thought it was going to happen like that.

"But we have to get over it now. We've had setbacks in the past and we have to move on. That's the nature of the club and the manager. He'll be driving us forward to achieve something this season."

The deep-lying playmaker said Sir Alex Ferguson's outlook has not changed.

"It was just 'go again'. Whether we won the league last season or not it's the same, the same message really," he said.

"He says 'you have to start again, start afresh. Last season doesn't count for anything now, everything is new' and we'll look forward to it."

Carrick suggested it is in the club's nature to get on with the task in hand, rather than worrying about past failures.

"As a club we do tend to bounce back. If we have a defeat or setback we tend to come back stronger. We can't forget how close we were. It wasn't a disaster in terms of how the season went because we had a good season really," he said.

"We'll bounce back. We're strong this year and we're hungry, not that we wouldn't have been hungry anyway. It will be a good championship."

Carrick also expressed his delight at the signing of Robin van Persie, after the 2011-12 Premier League player of the year moved from Arsenal after a protracted transfer saga.

"It's great news. We want the best players in the club," he said.

"It's been well publicised that we've been chasing him and it's a big boost for us. It's a big week now going into the first game of the season and it will give everyone a big lift."

Article

Premier League preview: Everton v Manchester United

18 August 2012 00:55

Manchester United begin the 2012/13 English Premier League season with a revenge mission away to Everton on Monday.

A dramatic 4-4 draw at home to Everton on April 22 was a major blow to United's title challenge, as rivals Manchester City ultimately claimed the championship on goal difference.

United have added Japanese attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa and teenager Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra over the close-season transfer window.

Kagawa scored the match winner in United's 4-3 friendly win over German club Hannover on August 11.

In the same match United star Wayne Rooney continued an encouraging pre-season with a two-goal performance, converting both a free kick and penalty attempt.

The game showed off a new-look attacking combination for the 2012/13 season, with Rooney playing a deeper role beside Kagawa and Tom Cleverley.

Cleverley participated in the London Olympics for Great Britain and has said the experience will benefit him for the forthcoming season.

For Everton, Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar have been brought in by manager David Moyes.

Pienaar returns to Everton after playing for the club from 2008 until 2011, returning on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012, before sealing a permanent transfer back to Goodison Park.

Naismith's addition to the side has already proved fruitful, with the former Glasgow Rangers striker scoring a hat-trick against AEK Athens in a friendly on August 8.

Yet perhaps more significant were the players which left Everton over the close season.

Long-time servant Tim Cahill and promising midfielder Jack Rodwell have both left, with Cahill moving to the New York Red Bulls and Rodwell signed by Manchester City.

In their absence, Everton will look to Croatia international Nikica Jelavic to shine.

The striker netted 11 goals in 13 league starts following a January move from Rangers last season.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25