GOODISON PARK, England – If this is the beginning Manchester United As Erik ten Hag turns the corner, he can thank two teenagers for taking the steering wheel.
Play in shape Everton at Goodison Park, which at times seemed like a bear pit given the anger of the home fans Premier League for your 10 point deduction, 19 year old Alejandro Garnacho He scored a wonderful goal and at times there was chaos around him, the 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo was the quietest man on the pitch on his Premier League debut.
This week – with three away games against Everton, Galatasaray and Newcastle within six days – could prove crucial to United’s season and thanks to Garnacho and Mainoo they have made a perfect start.
Marcus Rashford‘s second goal of the season from the penalty spot and Anthony Martialis the first league goal since April won a 3-0 win and meant that Ten Hag, who spent the afternoon in the stands due to a touchline suspension, could speak enthusiastically about his team’s biggest league win of the season.
“It was a good performance,” said Ten Hag. “The start was very good, exactly as we had planned. We scored a great goal and in the second half we were proactive and scored two goals. We take positive things from it. We had problems at the beginning of the season.” A A lot of things went against us. We are growing. We need to let this process continue to grow.”
It was Everton’s first game since then News of her 10 deduction came for breaching the Premier League’s financial rules, and after thousands of fans joined a protest outside the stadium, the mood reached its peak at kick-off. Fans booed the Premier League signage as they ran onto the pitch for team lineups, and fans held up thousands of pink placards bearing the league’s logo and the words “corrupt” underneath. Sean Dyche said beforehand he hoped the anger would galvanize his players, but with just three minutes left on the clock, Garnacho’s moment of magic sucked the energy from the stands.
It was such a good goal that it will be shown on replays forever. For a second it looked like this Diogo Dalot had surpassed his cross, but Garnacho first backed away and then fired a bicycle kick into the top corner. Think against Wayne Rooney Manchester City; the kind of goal that shouldn’t be attainable for humans and therefore takes a split second to absorb. When it finally sunk in, Garnacho was halfway through his meal Cristiano Ronaldo “Siuuu” celebration.
Ronaldo, who scored United’s winner here last season, would have agreed.
“It was a fantastic goal and there are still a lot of games left to play this season, but it’s probably the goal of the season,” said Ten Hag. “Not just the finish, it was the whole thing from back to finish. The finish was incredible, world class. It was a great moment.”
As good as the opening goal was, it didn’t stop United from showing their usual weakness for the rest of the first half. There was a sort of stunned silence in the stadium for a while after Garnacho’s goal, but then Everton started to play and in the last 15 minutes there was one chance after another.
Dominic Calvert Lewin had two headers, one was saved by him Andre Onana and one over the bar, and Abdoulaye Doucouré Somehow he missed the target from 10 yards. Idrissa Gueye distorted a shot high and wide and amid wave after wave of attacks from Everton, Mainoo blocked a shot Dwight McNeil and cleared another attempt on the line.
Depending on how you want to look at it, it was either impressive or frightening that Mainoo, a teenager making his first Premier League start, was the most composed man in the red jersey despite being surrounded by expensive, experienced international players.
“He has a lot of skills and it was a really disappointing moment in pre-season when he got so badly injured,” said Ten Hag. “I know he can make a lot of progress if he plays as many games as he did today. Players will develop very quickly and we thought it was the right time to bring him in. He’s a good boy, very mature, and he showed it.”
Luckily for Ten Hag, who said afterwards he had been heavily critical of his players at half-time, Mainoo’s composure seemed to rub off on his team-mates in the second half, even later on Ashley Young After a VAR check it was determined Martial had been brought down in the penalty area and Rashford scored from the penalty spot to give United a 2-0 lead in a league game for the first time this season.
A flowing team move was completed by Martial – in the injured starting eleven Rasmus Hojlund – to make it 3-0 and give the result a more pleasant look than it perhaps deserved. But Ten Hag doesn’t care and neither do Garnacho and Mainoo, who could potentially finally move United in the right direction.