Manchester United blew the chance to go top of the Premier League as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday. Andros Townsend’s second-half strike on the counter earned Rafa Benitez his first points away to the Red Devils since May 2013, the shared points taking both sides level with Liverpool at the top of the table having played a game more.
A point was no less than Everton deserved for an impressive display that came in spite of the absence of first choice forwards Dominic Calvert Lewin and Richarlison.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have opted to leave the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba on the bench after their dramatic win over Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday but it seemed he had the firepower to win the game with fringe players when Anthony Martial scored his first club goal since February just before the interval.
However United rarely looked like hammering home their advantage and were pegged back in the 65th minute as Demarai Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure charged up the pitch to tee up Townsend, who has now had a hand in eight goals (five scored, three assisted) in nine games across all competitions. It now means United have gone nine home league games without a clean sheet, their longest run in more than 50 years.
The visitors thought they had won the day when Yerry Mina converted substitute Tom Davies’ pass across the face of goal after United had failed to clear a corner but on another day of late drama at Old Trafford there was to be no match winning moment at the death by Cristiano Ronaldo and company, a tame late shot from Sancho easily saved by Pickford