NB: Video on this article has been removed in accordance to international license restrictions.
By Greg Robertson
Hello and welcome to Old Trafford where we have Manchester United hosting Everton in the English Premier League.
Remember this?... 4-2 to United, five points clear ahead of Manchester City were United with 10 minutes to go… end result, 4-4 draw and Everton unlucky not to take away all three points. That was the same fixture as this, last season.
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LIVE COMMENTARY… Manchester United 2 v 0 Everton
FULLTIME United win 2-0 All video up.
90+2 MINS: The ramifications for this one, United taking the 3 points, means they can afford to lose the big ties and still go on and take their 20th league title.
90 MINS: Three minutes of added time.
86 MINS: This one is now just dwindling down to a natural end. United with the corner, Rooney having a go with it instead of VP – short to Giggs in this no frills performance. Everton get involved, get possession and break.
82 MINS: Error by Smalling and it’s fallen to Jelavic who strikes it low and hard, De Gea down to it and gets good contact to banish it away. VIDEO UP SOON.
81 MINS: Van Persie for Giggs who’s onside and he cuts it back to Van Persie who sprays it wide. VIDEO UP SOON Smalling on for Evans with 10 to play.
79 MINS: Rooney tracks back to his own byline and blocks Neville. Everton with the corner and they go short, west to east, then straight up the middle to a grateful De Gea.
77 MINS: Lovely play from Everton and prior to that United with both stringing plenty of passes together.
74 MINS: Rafael with a great piece of defensive work to stop Everton progress north of the border.
71 MINS: Rafael feeds Giggs and he wins a corner. VP again with a wicked bending thing but it’s too close to Howard and he claims it in his 250th Everton appearance.
67 MINS: Giggs with a flick from a Van Persie corner and then the lollies are flying everywhere inside the six yard, I have no idea how Everton managed to keep that out. Another corner, half cleared and Cleverly thunders it back in and Howard with a terrific save.
63 MINS: Jagielka with a searching ball for Fellaini, he’s the target man but he’s no room.
59 MINS: A few technical difficulties but I’ve fixed them now. Sub for United, Crrick is on for Jones and for Everton we have Jelavic taking a limping Anichebe.
50 MINS: It seems as though Everton has put together about 40 passes… good play as they try and regroup. But Rooney breaks with it and Cleverley, VP play it about to win a throw deep.
47 MINS: United camped inside the Everton half as we resume.
No changes at halftime.
That’s halftime – United lead 2-0.
45 MINS: GOAL VAN PERSIE! This time he beats the trap and Rooney plays him in beautifully, it’s like groundhog day as Van Persie goes around Howard but this time he scores. A sliding Heitinga can’t keep it out. VIDEO UP.
44 MINS: Valencia superb as he plays through Evra, the cross then flicked away. Van Persie not able to beat the offside trap – not for the first time.
42 MINS: Long ball played into the area and De Gea comes, punches and Osman has a crack first time. Corkscrews off the boot. VP and Rooney and the rest of that lot play keepsies and cut the Everton defence to pieces. A stray foot denies some great work.
38 MINS: First card of the match with a rash challenge on Cleverley by Mirallas.
35 MINS: Jones finds Fellaini, off to Mirallas who delivers into the box but it’s behind Anichebe and he can only get a slight touch and United defenders come from anywhere to welly it anywhere. Fluid motion from Everton. VIDEO UP.
34 MINS: Everton with a set piece 32 yards out… Baines is over it. But Gibson plays it in, Fellaini attacks it but Jones clears it.
31 MINS: Fellaini strong as he comes short to pick up the ball, as a result Anichebe is playing with the ball in the box. Vidic gives him no loose change and shields him out.
29 MINS: Cracking shot from Osman as he chests and then volleys a dipping ball. De Gea across low and fast to the bottom corner and pads it away. Good save, great shot. VIDEO UP.
27 MINS: Jones gets back and nicks Anichebe over and gives away the free kick. A necessary evil with Everton looking to counter, fast. Rio, by the way, has the baseball cap on and his feet up.
25 MINS: At the Everton end of the pitch, Jones wins a corner off Baines, Van Persie goes deep and Giggs tries to keep the head hanging in the air like a Prairie dog but even Jordan didn’t have that kind of hang time. Mirallas breaks down the right and cross with Fellaini heading back to Osman who gets a piece of it on the volley but not enough to worry the United keeper. United’s not having it all their own way.
21 MINS: Phil Neville with a sliding cross and Vidic heads it safely away for a corner for Everton. Baines with the corner and De Gea thinks about coming and then stays put but the danger is cleared.
19 MINS: Everton with a throw on the halway mark, Rooney gets hold of it and plugs the ball into the corner for Van Persie to chase. They’re combing like bread and butter… Van Persie being the bread and Rooney’s the quality smothering of butter. Rooney, then Valenica, finds Jones and he lets fly with a left into to top echelons of the Old Trafford stands.
13 MINS: GOAL United! A long, straight ball finds Van Persie, he gets around Heitinga and finds Giggs and he scores! He took it onto his right foot and finished it. He’s now scored in every single Premier League season. VIDEO UP.
10 MINS: Everton with a good piece of possession, passing it up the front then thinking it was that easy we’ll feed it back to the defence and have another crack. United have other thoughts and grab hold of it through Evans, Cleverley and Giggs combine and Giggs tries something deft but a foot in puts paid to it. They’re not letting Everton settle. Cutting down the options. Ohhhh Rooney, slides Van Persie in and the Dutchman, well he goes around Howard and we are think 1-0 but he’s hit the post! How’d he miss?!?!? VIDEO UP.
5 MINS: Everton win a corner and it’s bent in back post causing all sorts of trouble as a gaggle of players try to get to it. United breaks quickly as the ball is pumped away but Valencia is half a mile offside.
3 MINS: United with the upper hand early. Win a free kick but Howard punches with strength.
Okay, a late change in the line ups... Sylvain Distin has come a cropper in the warm up and has been replaced by Johnny Heitinga. And of course
It’s good news for Rio Ferdinand as he’s been dropped which means he’s likely to start against Real Madrid.
Manchester United (possible 4-2-3-1): De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Jones, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Giggs; Van Persie.
Subs: Amos, Anderson, Smalling, Hernandez, Carrick, Nani, Welbeck.
Everton (possible 4-4-1-1): Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Mirallas, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar; Fellaini; Anichebe.
Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Jelavic, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Stones.
Expecting a high scoring affair… maybe not the eight goals we saw last April, but high nonetheless.
Kick off is not far away so in the meantime watch highlights of the Manchester United and Fulham match.
Possible line ups
United (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Lindegaard; Smalling, Jones, Evans, Buttner; Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Nani; Welbeck, Hernandez.
Everton (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Howard; Jagielka, distin, Heitinga, Baines; Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar; Fellaini; Anichebe.
Referee: Mark Halsey
Manchester United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson has given his players stern warning to expect his ‘hairdryer’ if they stumble against Everton in their English Premier League match at Old Trafford.
And they’ll get the full effect of it if they repeat last season’s effort – up 4-2 (five points clear of Manchester City at the time) with only 10 minutes to go they drew 4-4.
"If I had to pick out one single match where we lost our title it would have to be that game," Ferguson told United Review. "What I can say is that it won't happen again – or if it does, then put it this way, they will feel the full effect of the hairdryer,” says Ferguson.
At the top, Manchester United is running away with the title, sitting nine points ahead of Manchester City, and its pursuit of a record-extending 20th league title seems unstoppable.
"You hope that the players realize that the league is there for them (to win)," Ferguson said. "It's obviously a big challenge and we've got the FA Cup and the Champions League as well, and managing the squad is going to be important when it comes to picking the right teams.
"That's down to myself and the staff. It's always an important time. The players have shown great appetite for it."
Everton is riding high in fifth place - three points behind Tottenham in the last Champions League place race, ahead of the London's club match against Newcastle.
When United made a losing start to the EPL season for the first time in eight years, it seemed to indicate just how tough it would be to regain the Premier League trophy.
But Ferguson cautions that "we have to anticipate the unexpected in the run-in."
Everton has remained in a position of strength since beating United in August, with David Moyes' side fifth in the standings, just three points behind the Champions League places.
Ferguson says "they're obviously hard to beat."