Everton vs. Manchester United (Matchday Commentary)

EvertonLogoManchesterUnitedLogo 
  
The newly-adopted favorite team of many U.S. national team fans takes the field today against one of the best teams in the world as Everton faces Manchester United at Goodison Park (7:45am, ESPN2).

The match will be Landon Donovan's first against Manchester United, as well as Tim Howard's latest encounter with his former club. The Toffees will try and slow down the seemingly unstoppable Wayne Rooney while Donovan looks to build on his stellar performance vs. Chelsea last week.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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FINAL- Up next for Everton? The return leg against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

That's all for me. Thanks for following along this morning. Feel free to share your post-game thoughts below, and look out for our Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary post covering the rest of today's action.

—————–

FINAL- Everton 3, Manchester United 1.

Who needs Rooney? Everton has some truly impressive kids who both stepped up to deliver clutch goals.

No Tim Cahill? No Marouane Fellaini? No problem. The Toffees still find a way to win.

How smart is David Moyes?

Landon Donovan with another strong performance against a top team. He really needs to stay in England. Hopefully that can happen.

—————–

92nd minute- Admit it, when you saw the schedule Landon Donovan would be playing while with Everton you thought he'd be facing more losses than wins. Now we're seeing wins against Chelsea and Man United back-to-back. Just amazing.

—————–

91st minute- Rodwell runs onto an Arteta pass near midfield, dribbles at Evans, turns him to his right and sends a hard shot past Van Der Sar to the back post. What a goal from the kid. He's only 18 folks. Star in the making.

—————–

90th minute- GOAL EVERTON!!!!!!! And it's JACK RODWELL with a BEAUTIFUL GOAL. WOW.

EVERTON 3, United 1.

—————–

89th minute- How many minutes of added time? Seven? Eight? I'm kidding, but you never know with Sir Alex.

—————–

88th minute- Jack Rodwell comes in for Steven Pienaar.

—————–

88th minute- Rooney WIDE!! He tried to curl it into the top corner but the wall gets a head on it. United corner.

—————–

87th minute- Rooney draws a free kick on a foul by Osman. It's about 28 yards out, above the arc. Dangerous spot. Howard will be tested here.

—————–

83rd minute- United corner. Rooney sends it in and another corner. Why is Rooney taking a corner?

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82nd minute- Does a lead ever feel safe against Manchester United? Ever?

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81st minute- Michael Owen is in for Valencia. Everton fans give Owen a war ex-Liverpool legend welcome.

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79th minute- Here comes Everton again, and Donovan finds Pienaar, who finds Arteta, but Arteta swings and misses on an open look. Donovan is playing very well this half.

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78th minute- Donovan deserves his share of credit for setting up Pienaar on the goal. He worked a great give-and-go the sprung Pienaar for the open look on the assist.

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76th minute- GOAL EVERTON!!!!! And it's Dan Gosling with the FINISH. Pienaar with the ball to the penalty spot and Gosling finishes. Donovan with the pass to find Pienaar on the flank.

EVERTON 2, MANCHESTER UNITED 1. WOW.

—————–

74th minute- I'll never understand why Donovan doesn't take every Everton corner. His corners have been simply better than his teammates, but we still see Baines and Arteta taking them.

—————–

73rd minute- Arteta's corner is cleared. Donovan puts in a good ball but Gosling can't get a head to it. Everton looking better now.

Donovan tries to dribble through the United defense but loses it. Teammates recover but United eventually start a counter.

Pienaar with a yellow card.

—————–

72nd minute- Everton corner.

—————–

70th minute- Dan Gosling comes in for Bilyaletdinov.

—————–

69th minute- Match has lost its shape as neither side is controlling the action.

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67th minute- Donovan does well to stay with Valencia defensively, forcing him to give it up.

—————–

66th minute- Berbatov and Park come off for Scholes and Obertan.

—————–

64th minute- Scholes and Obertan coming in for United.

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61st minute- Saha with a nice move to free himself, but shanks the shot from 20.

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58th minute- A big problem for Everton today is lack of bench options. Missing Cahill and Fellaini will be felt this half. Yakubu is one option, while Rodwell could also get a look this half.

—————–

56th minute- Donovan with a good touch to force a turnover and start a counter. He just made a LONG run before giving the ball up to a teammate. United's defense does well to contain him.

—————–

55th minute- Rooney chips a pass into the area that Berbatov heads wide.

—————–

53rd minute- Bit of a sloppy start for both sides this half.

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51st minute- Fletcher has a go from the arc, but sends it just wide.

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48th minute- Baines skies the free kick. Need better there.

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47th minute- Osman draws a foul and Everton has a great free kick look from 26 yards out.

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46th minute- We're back.

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HALFTIME- If you're up and following the commentary, let me know in the comments section (and let me know where you're watching from). 

—————–

HALFTIME- Everton 1, Manchester United 1.

Pretty even match, Everton matching United's quality with their own energy and fight. You have to give the Toffees credit for being tied and playing well despite not having Tim Cahill or Marouane Fellaini.

As for Donovan, he's playing better than he did vs. Sporting Lisbon, but that quick chance he missed is going to haunt him. 

—————–

44th minute- Donovan with a nice trap of a Howard kick, and has Rooney kick it clear.

Some great energy from Everton today, particularly the past 15 minutes.

—————–

42nd minute- Watched another replay of the Donovan miss and the ball looked to hit Brown's arm. That sequence happened pretty quickly so it wasn't exactly a sitter missed by Donovan, but I am willing to bet Berbatov or Rooney buries that.

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40th minute- Donovan wins a header in the United box somewhat surprisingly as Everton finds a good spell of energy.

Neville kills a sequence when he doesn't make the run on a Bily pass.

—————–

38th minute- WOW, Donovan misses a great chance. A Baines cross is chested to his feet by Brown but Donovan rushes his shot and mis-hits it off his shin. Donovan did well to send the ball to Baines on the play, but was definitely surprised by Brown's move. Still, he won't get a better chance.

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37th minute- Donovan with a nice bit of possession, and finds Bily, but Bily beats two defenders only to give it up to Neville rather than shoot on his right foot.

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36th minute- A Baines cross into the six-yard box is caught easily by Van Der Sar.

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34th minute- ESPN announcers discussing how Rooney angered Everton fans by kissing his United badge after scoring a goal. Can we call that "Pulling a Rossi"?

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31st minute- Another United corner dealt with by Everton.

United keeps possession and keeps the pressure on.

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30th minute- United on another break to earn a corner. They definitely look a touch sharper than Everton i possession, but that's not surprising.

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29th minute- I don't think enough American fans respect Park Ji-Sung for what he did for the U.S. team in the 2002 World Cup. If he doesn't score the winner vs. Portugal, USA doesn't advance, there's never Dos a Cero and never that epic quarterfinal match vs. Germany.

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28th minute- Park with a shot that forces a relatively easy save for Howard.

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27th minute- Other players get more headlines, but Leon Osman is a very underrated player. He puts in an honest day's work every match and is very effective seemingly every match.

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25th minute- Wow, Rooney races in on goal, dribbles past Howard, but Neville races in to force him to lose it. Howard did well to run out at Rooney and force a bad touch.

—————–

25th minute- Wow, Bily nearly streaks in for a second goal, but he strikes it high after Saha dummies a Baines cross in low.

—————–

24th minute- Pienaar's shot is blocked by the wall.

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22nd minute- Donovan corner is cleared out. Everton gets the ball back and Pienaar draws a foul about 25 yards from goal, left of the D. 

—————–

21st minute- Everton earns a corner. Great end to end stuff now.

—————–

19th minute- GOAL EVERTON!!!! And it's Bilyaletdinov with a BLAST. Everton 1, United 1.

Bily races onto a loose ball, takes a touch and BLASTS it from 20 yards out. Great goal.

—————–

18th minute- The goal came from a Valencia ball from the wing. Baines gave him some space and Valencia sent it in low and hard. Distin got a foot on it but it still found Berbatov.

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16th minute- GOAL UNITED!!!  And it's Berbatov, who finds a Valencia low cross at his feet before roofing it from close range. United 1, Everton 0.

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16th minute- Corner taken short and finds its way into the area, but United can't get a shot on it.

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15 minute- United earns ANOTHER corner.

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13th minute- Baines' corner went toward Heitinga, who looked to be nudged by Rooney. No call.

Everton starting to find some possession now.

Saha with a good shot from distance to force a Van Der Sar save.

—————–

13th minute- Everton applies some pressure and earns a corner kick.

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11th minute- Corner cleared as United breaks into the area before Fletcher skies a chance from the top of the box.

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10th minute- United moves the ball around with relative ease in the middle of the field.

United earns ANOTHER corner.

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8th minute- Donovan completes a clever back-heel pass to Pienaar, who draws a foul on his subsequent run.

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7th minute- Everton clears it away.

Still not much offensively for the Toffees as the sides feel each other out.

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6th minute- Another United corner.

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5th minute- United's first corner is cleared from danger.

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3rd minute- With Pienaar playing essentially as a central midfielder it looks like a straight 4-5-1 today. Toffees will need the extra man in the middle to try and win the battle against the tough tandem of Carrick and Fletcher.

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3rd minute- Donovan will look to use his speed against Gary Neville, who is not as fast as Patrice Evra is on the left.

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1st minute- We're off and it looks like it's Donovan on the left and Pienaar centrally as a second forward, with Bily on the right flank. Interesting deployment.

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PRE-GAME- The ESPN broadcast is listing Donovan on the right and Pienaar as the second forward. We'll see soon enough where they actually line up.

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PRE-GAME- Landon Donovan will be playing in a different role for Everton today as the injury to Tim Cahill will force David Moyes to move Donovan into a withdrawn forward role behind Louis Saha, Cahill's normal role. The role could be an effective one as Manchester United is without first-choice centerbacks Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Here is Everton's lineup:

—————————-Saha————————–

Bilyaletdinov———Donovan—————-Pienaar

—————Arteta————–Osman—————

Baines———-Distin——-Heitinga———–Neville

————————-Howard————————-

Here is Manchester United's lineup:

—————Rooney————Berbatov————–

Park———-Carrick———-Fletcher———-Valencia

Evra————-Evans——–Brown————–Neville

———————–Van Der Sar————————–

—————–

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

185 Responses to Everton vs. Manchester United (Matchday Commentary)

  1. JD says:

    wow, what an opportunity for donovan. playing center mid against one of the best teams in the world. a solid showing here could go a long way toward cementing his future in Europe

  2. bluexmas says:

    Can’t believe I’m up for this, but let’s rock!

  3. John in feeing FL says:

    This blows, the 1 saturday out of the quater that I have to work and Landon is on VS ManUre in full HD……bummer…go go Landon.

    with that said, I think the most Everton can hope for is a tie. I seriously doubt they can beat ManUre especially seeing how charged ManUre is comming in after their mid week romp at the San Siro.

  4. Craig says:

    I’m starting to get used to waking up at 7AMEST to watch Landon/Tim. It’s going to be sad when he comes back home. No Laundry will be getting done early Saturday morning. We need to pray for Landon to stay in England. The only way for MLS to grow is for American players to be in Europe.

  5. Kurt says:

    C’mon you yanks! Rooney laughing with Donovan as they walk out — who’d have thought we’d see that a few months ago.

  6. viva nashvegas says:

    Here we go boys. Big opportunity for Landon playing withdrawn behind saha.

  7. Emanuel says:

    Donovan is on the Right not in the middle

  8. Sound….no Sound on ESPN2?

  9. Big Chil says:

    Who’s awake?

  10. Emanuel says:

    Actually he started on the left

  11. julio says:

    I have a sports package with DIRECT TV with no ESPN 2 go figure….can anyone hook me up with a feed?

  12. ec says:

    Looks like Donovan is going to be right in the middle of it today. Kind of interesting that he keeps drifting out wide though.

  13. andrew in tampa says:

    wrong . landon on the left today. very active early.

  14. JD says:

    rooney is a beast. just look at him!

  15. It’s back………

  16. viva nashvegas says:

    Evereton misses fellaini

  17. andrew intampa says:

    look at tht backheel by landon!

  18. Isaac says:

    Nice backheel by Landon that helped Piennar earn that free kick.

  19. Ghost says:

    link to atdhe.net

    theres 4 feeds, picks one

  20. Beckster says:

    Landon getting lots of touches but hasn’t done too much with them. Free kick off but how great is it that he is playing against all of the top defenses in the EPL.

  21. Not another corner….

  22. scott says:

    looks like man u is going to get a couple today

  23. viva nashvegas says:

    They get a couple most games. Tommy will have to be big today for everyone to get points.

  24. viva nashvegas says:

    Timmy

  25. Josh.2 says:

    what a goal by Berbatov!

  26. Adrian says:

    anyone surprised that phil neville just stands and watches as his man traps and shoots from 3 yards?

  27. Adrian says:

    omg what a goal!

  28. viva nashvegas says:

    Wow… Billy…

  29. Isaac says:

    GOAL! BILYLETDINOV!!!!

  30. scott says:

    wow! i was about to go to sleep

  31. Ben says:

    Exciting match so far! Nice strike by the guy with the last name I won’t even attempt to type.

  32. Josh.2 says:

    damn Billy, what a cracker!

  33. Aristophanes says:

    my wife just yelled at me for waking the baby. that was gorgeous.

  34. viva nashvegas says:

    Bily is much easier

  35. Adrian says:

    phil neville blows a cross

  36. ajr says:

    anyone know where to watch it

  37. viva nashvegas says:

    Wow… bily should have had two

  38. Josh.2 says:

    Great D by Neville.

  39. Adrian says:

    you have to put that away

  40. viva nashvegas says:

    Bad there from tim

  41. ec says:

    I didn’t think Phil Neville still had that in him. Hate seeing Rooney go around Howard

  42. Adrian says:

    what? that was perfect from tim

  43. Emanuel says:

    yea is was Distins fault

  44. Adrian says:

    valencia was surprised that donovan kept up with him, so he skied the cross

  45. Big Chil says:

    That was an amazing save by, and I hate to say it…(PN)

  46. viva nashvegas says:

    Anyone else feel united is going to get another before half. Everton is out of sorts right now.

  47. Adrian says:

    funny, what’s a free kick against any team in the EPL is not a free kick against united

  48. viva nashvegas says:

    Ladon… ug

  49. ec says:

    There it was, there it goes.

  50. Edwin says:

    He’s got to bury that, it would of been a great strike and a good way to solidify his presence at Everton!

    He had a good corner and the nice flick but he has to do better with chances like that!

  51. Adrian says:

    everyone needs to relax

    like the commentator said, the ball came at landon in a flash

  52. Adrian says:

    punch the other neville in the face donovan

  53. viva nashvegas says:

    Everyone has been better the last ten minutes

  54. viva nashvegas says:

    Everton

  55. Adrian says:

    ives, do you feel like united play by a different set of rules?

  56. ec says:

    Kind of funny to see Rooney take out Donovan with a fair challenge.

  57. kelvin says:

    ESPN2

  58. ec says:

    What a first half. I’m so proud that 2 Americans are featuring in a game of this caliber. I’ll be very surprised if there aren’t more goals, Man U look dangerous going forward, and Evans/Brown look very shaky and there for the taking.

  59. Ben says:

    Showing replay of Bily’s goal… what a cracker! There was absolutely no way van der sar was going to get anywhere near that. Brilliant

  60. Luis says:

    Landy should have scored that near one…

  61. Scott A says:

    Following from Jerz

  62. Aaron in StL says:

    Man U lucked out to not have a penalty on Wes Brown, with better visibility that’s an easy call.

    LD probably should have done better, but he had no reaction time on that one after going up for a header. Unfortunately he’s not as lucky as Scholes when it comes to hitting the plant leg.

  63. Adrian says:

    haha

    very true though about the speed of play. united get away with another no call.

  64. Isaac says:

    Following from Apex, North Carolina.

    Tough chance for Landon.

  65. smacking says:

    Following from Providence

  66. Adrian says:

    i’m following along from east lansing

  67. timmy75 says:

    saha and donovan are gonna link up for a big second half. rough whiff at the 6 yard box, but LD has been making great inside runs. can’t believe i’m up for this, let’s hope our yank boys can keep it together against sir alex…

  68. bigdeadbat says:

    up too early in chi

  69. timmy75 says:

    go sparty!! from an nyc alum…

  70. Aaron in StL says:

    Also, come June 12th BB needs to send wave after wave of attack right at Wes Brown. The odds of him getting completely turned around are pretty good. He hasn’t looked good at all the last few times I’ve watched Man U. Hope he starts for England.

  71. vivalosburros says:

    following. I am in Amsterdam so its middle of the day for me. Thanks Ives

  72. Djep says:

    Following the commentary and watching the game… from Seoul .

  73. over there says:

    Follow from Peshawar, Pakistan, but born and raised in Providence! (how’s it going smacking?)

  74. kyle says:

    from my apartment in albany, ny

  75. Lame says:

    Following from Houston, Texas.

    BTW: Great stream here. Hasnt been taken down the whole 1st half…

    link to p2p4u.net

  76. Ben says:

    Go State! Former East Lansing resident following from Charleston, South Carolina.

  77. Joe says:

    I’ve been watching since kickoff from NC

  78. obxfly says:

    Following from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Go Donovan!

  79. Mike says:

    Following from New Jersey. If Everton lose this match by a goal (or maybe even at all) then that “swing and a miss” will definitely sit heavy with the Don.

  80. smacking says:

    All is good, but there are rumblings of Buddy getting back into politics.

  81. Edwin says:

    Ives, I’m watching from LA. So you know I’m up early for this!

    Question, any idea if Stuart Holden is healthy enough to be considered 100%? Just wondering if he’s just not fully match fit?

    What about Ricardo Clark, is he still a few weeks away?

  82. viva nashvegas says:

    I just went back and looked at the Howard / Rooney play and still think Tim was shaky. Yes he came out, but he had the chance to go in and get the ball. He clearly hesitates and gets flat footed. That said, I’d probably wet myself if Rooney was coming at me like that.

  83. Aaron in StL says:

    Please let Lando take this one!

  84. over there says:

    that at least has the potential to be funny as hell

  85. viva nashvegas says:

    What a waste

  86. smacking says:

    you know it

  87. Aaron in StL says:

    Osman playing well…but I’ve never seen somebody as lucky as him going foward. I don’t even think he knew where he’s been going on a few of those, somehow working though.

  88. Adrian says:

    i cannot remember baines putting a free kick on frame… ever

  89. Adrian says:

    neville is scum

    united get away with that stuff all the time

  90. Al_OC says:

    Woke up at 4:45 in SoCal, just in time for the opening whistle.

  91. froboy says:

    heck of a match, everton having the better run of play right now

  92. viva nashvegas says:

    Looks like we can expect Landon and Neville to have a chippy fame this summer.

  93. viva nashvegas says:

    Nice run by landon

  94. Josh.2 says:

    I thought LD was faster than Carrick? maybe I was wrong.

  95. Josh.2 says:

    Neville is not going to the world cup.

  96. Aaron in StL says:

    Doubtful. I don’t think he’s been playing for England much, if at all when called up.

    So close Landon! That gets through that’s a clear chance..great idea

  97. Adrian says:

    almost on that pass

  98. Adrian says:

    neville cannot do anything other than long ball to the other team

  99. Edwin says:

    Yeah he doesn’t look himself, a bit slow, wonder if he’s holding back thinking about it too much?

  100. Josh.2 says:

    Is it just me or do you bitch and whine about Neville every week? we get it, you don’t like him, he’s not a great player…move on.

  101. timmy75 says:

    damn. timmy looks shaky and out of position between the pipes today….

  102. Aaron in StL says:

    Phil Neville’s highlights make him look like Kurt Warner’s wife in the 90′s.

  103. viva nashvegas says:

    Man Rooney is killing distin today.

  104. Aaron in StL says:

    Lord, Osman give the ball back! Great little slice in by LD

  105. viva nashvegas says:

    Nice work by Landon there

  106. Adrian says:

    what a build up for the goal

  107. Josh.2 says:

    good team work and goal by Goslin

  108. Aaron in StL says:

    Great goal…move started by LD! Gosling wasn’t such a defensive sub after all, been in on the chacnes since he’s been in

  109. viva nashvegas says:

    Wow. Great work for ld on the build up

  110. A.S. says:

    Nice hockey assist by Donovan.

  111. Edwin says:

    Yesssssssssssss!

    Donovan saw that coming, and I had a feeling Gosling would get on the end of a goal or set up for one!

  112. Josh.2 says:

    Move actually started with Pienaar on the side when he passed it to Donovan and got it back.

  113. Aaron in StL says:

    If they can hold on…W’s vs. Man City, Chelsea, and Man U. Draw v Arsenal. Loss vs Liverpool…not many would think Everton would get 10 points from those 5 matches the way they started the season.

  114. Adrian says:

    omg what a miss by arteta

  115. Josh.2 says:

    Arteta!!! omg great ball from Pienaar, he should have finished that.

  116. viva nashvegas says:

    Yep

  117. Adrian says:

    it’s the old man!

  118. Edwin says:

    Stupid move by Saha!

    Arteta, if you’re going to wave your arms to ask for the ball, the least you can do is make contact when there’s not a soul near you!

  119. froboy says:

    what a match to watch, Donovan is playing a great 2nd half

  120. Josh.2 says:

    Man of the match has got to be between Pienaar and Baines. Baines has been shutting people down like crazy, and Distin hasn’t been bad either.

  121. Aaron in StL says:

    He’s drifted a little more to the middle of the park here…maybe he’ll poach one here at the end.

  122. Aaron in StL says:

    Oh dear this is a dangerous spot…luckily CR9 is long gone.

  123. A.S. says:

    Ugh. This free kick is not good.

  124. Adrian says:

    missed by inches

  125. viva nashvegas says:

    Think its pienaar

  126. Edwin says:

    I don’t like Pienaar coming out at this point, he’s linking up with Landon very well and holding possesion.

  127. Josh.2 says:

    RODWELL what a goal

  128. A.S. says:

    YEEEEEES!

  129. Aaron in StL says:

    Man…these young Everton kids are showing up! Gosling and Rodwell…man

  130. viva nashvegas says:

    Oh my

  131. Edwin says:

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a done deal now! Was Landon the one who stole the ball or caused the turnover?

    He had to had stuck the ball pretty quickly for Van der Sar not to be able to at least deflect it?

  132. viva nashvegas says:

    You can take that back now

  133. Aristophanes says:

    amazing

  134. Josh.2 says:

    I hope Chelsea loses this weekend. Not going to happen though. Moyes can pat himself on the back…off to the Bayern game then.

  135. Aaron in StL says:

    Van der Sar gettin’ all Rene Higuita

  136. Adrian says:

    howard with the blast… i wonder if he can clear the other goal line

  137. A.S. says:

    Wow – that was quite a game. Great way to wake up on a Saturday morning.

  138. Dylan says:

    What a great game, that’s why you wake up early. Everton looked really strong.

  139. John in FL says:

    Eating my words now…WOW what a game!!!!!

  140. viva nashvegas says:

    I wish Landon would stay for the rest of the season…

  141. A.S. says:

    On Donovan – not his greatest game. He had a few nice runs and played better in the 2nd half, but I was somewhat disappointed.

    (SBI-Sorry A.S., but we’ll have to disagree. He had a solid game against Manchester United. If you were disappointed then you probably need to reconsider what it is you were expecting.)

  142. Adrian says:

    bodybuilders take injections of steroid

    epl teams take injections of donovan

  143. wilyboy says:

    Man of the match: David Moyes.

    Two goals off two subs, both young investments, and a win against Man U with two of his influential core players out? Unreal.

    Besides, everyone played above par for Everton, there’s no choosing the one who is most important.

  144. Edwin says:

    I take it back! :( LOL

  145. SecretSquirrel says:

    What a goal by Rodwell, he (and the Man U) defense made that look far too easy. Donovan really has looked to be the missing piece to Everton’s puzzle. They’ve just been on a whole other level since he joined.

  146. Andrew in Tampa says:

    What were you watching? The only thing I’d like to see Donovan do more is shoot when he comes into the top of the box. He needs to stay at Everton. His presence on the pitch gives the team so much more depth and confidence.

  147. Hokie_Futbol says:

    why is brown messing with the strike partnership? jozy on the bench.

  148. ec says:

    I’ve got $20 to chip in for Everton to buy Donovan. He totally belongs in these games, I can’t stand the thought of seeing him back in MLS after this. Did I hear that this is only the 2nd time Moyes has beaten United? And more wins for Everton since they picked up Donovan than before. Let’s make this work, people!

  149. Edwin says:

    Seems to me like Evans can get burned if you run at him quickly and cut fast to leave him behind just enough to let a shot off cleanly?

    Ives, you think Landon has a good chance of coming back to Everton if he does play for the Galaxy come end of March as planned? Perhaps after a good showing in South Africa? I can really see him going down there next season?

  150. Turgid Jacobian says:

    He did okay. I’d just like to see him bag a couple more goals! Still, he’s contributing positively in lots of ways.

    I like the poster below: I’ll pony up some dough to Everton if they want to buy Landycakes. I like him there.

  151. CSD says:

    Edwin, If he plays too good in the World Cup Everton won’t be able to afford him. At that point US fans will be hoping he doesn’t go back to Everton because he has a shot of playing in the Champions League.

  152. Hudson says:

    Another strong showing for Donovan but he still looks reluctant to shoot from distance, trying to dribble into the area instead of taking a crack when he has an open look on goal.

  153. Frodo says:

    A.S. is right:

    It was not LD’s greatest game. And the chance Donovan fluffed was ghastly.

    I say this as a big fan.

  154. Edwin says:

    Who then? Aston Villa? Tottenham? I know Defoe could use someone to partner with besides Crouch? Or they could use another dangerous midfielder if they go with just Defoe?

    Although I could see him at Aston Villa with Heskey if he stays at Villa Park?

    I just think he has something great going with Everton, although I still believe his game is best suited for La Liga, can you see him at a mid level club like Osasuna, Getafe or even Mallorca, or who knows? Villreal might bring him back to partner him up with Jozy?

    I kind of like the Everton romance he has going right now

    Ives, so any thoughts as to where he could end up after SA?

  155. CSD says:

    If he heads back to the MLS it would only be 9 games in the MLS before the World Cup I think you’ll be OK. I am not too concerned about where he plays until South Africa.

  156. John says:

    Thank you for the play by play .. I am out of the house and missed the game, so this was great. I am one of the new Everton US fans .. from Orlando FL … Just found your blog. Great stuff. Thanks!

  157. Jorge says:

    I guess we can all agree that David Moyes has been a great EPL coach for Landon. Right?

  158. Stephen says:

    Yeah. And Pienaar is more the withdrawn striker/attacking mid.

  159. Stephen says:

    Cause he started on the left flank.

  160. ec says:

    I agree that it wouldn’t affect his ability to show up for the World Cup. Everton is on such a magical run that I’d hate to break up the party, they are now up to 8th and only 6 pts back from Liverpool in 5th.

  161. CSD says:

    Until he plays in the World Cup it is all just speculative. If you look at how well he played recently against the top 4 and you throw a good World Cup performance in why wouldn’t a top four team be interested in him? Every World Cup players stature increases and they become must have commodities for the biggest clubs in the World. He should have 3 to 4 prime years left in his career. The LA Galaxy, the MLS, Landon and his agent all know his maximum value point would be in the summer after a great World Cup showing.

  162. ec says:

    I’m not convinced Villa or Tottenham is that much of a step up from Everton, those teams are 6-7-8 in the standings right now despite Everton’s disasterous start to the season. I think if you’ve got a good situation on a quality team you go with it, searching for greener pastures has put many a player out in the wilderness.

  163. CSD says:

    Edwin, to answer your question the club I would ideally like to see him at after the World Cup would be Arsenal but I don’t think that would work out with the players they already have. So I think I would go ahead and settle with Chelsea.

  164. MiamiAl says:

    5-1-1 since Donovan has arrived. Wins against Man U, Man City, Chelsea and a tie against Arsenal. Pretty decent indeed!

  165. Nicole says:

    It has been said Moyes does not like his players to shoot from outside the box.

  166. Nicole says:

    I wouldn’t classify it as ghastly. He had just challenged for a header and it fell to him quickly off the handball. No worse than Rooney fluffing his shot after he’d rounded the keeper. They both should have scored.

    Donovan brings another attacking element to Everton. He makes them much more dangerous.

    He had a very, very good game.

  167. Nicole says:

    Come to find out, apparently LD sick, coming down with the flu.

  168. CA says:

    Solid performance from LD today, I’d rate him a 6.5. I thought that “ghastly” miss in front of the goal wasn’t very ghastly at all. The ManU defender knocked it down with his hand(should have been a handball) and Donovan simply didn’t have time to react. Most players would have done exactly what LD did in that situation-take a quick haphazard swipe at it and probably miss.

  169. fischy says:

    May Providence shine upon you.

  170. fischy says:

    He was a dangerous player, keeping ManUtd on their toes. However, he wasted too many chances — overhitting balls early on and then trying to dribble through half the defense. Also, late in the game, he was proving to be a defensive liability — one turnover led to a free kick and then a corner kick even after LD blocked the free kick, and other turnovers offered some scary moments. However, these gaffes were more than outweighed by his contributions on the other side of the field, being a general nuisance and keeping the Red Devils on defense. A good game, but not a great game.

  171. fischy says:

    Except Bilyaletdinov, I guess? Not to mention Saha’s cracker from a very long distance even before the goal. I’m sure MOyes is quite happy with long shots, if they’re on target. That would be better than the long overhit cross and the overhit free kick that Donovan made in the first half.

  172. fischy says:

    Indeed, It wasn’t ghastly. Hard to get off a good shot on that play. Would have been better to control it first, but hindsight is 20/20. Still, it was hardly his worst moment, as your 6.5 reflects.

  173. BrianK says:

    Here is what the London Times had to say:

    “Landon Donovan was Everton’s other standout and there is anguish at Goodison that the American, although he would probably stay until May if he could, will almost certainly return to LA Galaxy next month because of the terms of his loan from the MLS team.

    Thanks to Donovan and flashes from Steven Pienaar and Arteta, United were second best for creativity and guile and Rooney — barracked by Everton fans, though not as badly as on previous returns to Goodison — suffered in a performance Ferguson admitted was “tired”.”

    The Times rated Donovan’s performance as an 8/10.

    Man,…Bayern Munich must have some reserve team!

  174. fischy says:

    Not entirely a fair comment about Bayern. The German game is one which puts more of a premium on size and technique, whereas the English are obsessed with running and speed. Donovan’s game was always best suited for England.

  175. BrianK says:

    Fischy,…with all due repsect, I think it was pretty fair (sarcastic!) comment about Bayern. For the Bayern reserve coach to say that Donovan was ‘not fit for [his] reserve team’ is a joke. Fact is,…Donovan did not get a fair shake at Bayern. The anti-Klinsman sentiment at Bayern carried over and Rummenigge and company did not evaluate Donovan’s talents objectively.

    Sad to say that Bayern is not the club they once were. They are stuck in the past. Once Ribery moves on,…they are really going to depend on bad off-side calls from referees to win matches.

    BTW – LD received 3 bonus points in the EPL Fantasy game for his performance today,…which equates to MOTM.

  176. roysterer says:

    How do you know that? It’s still possible.

  177. roysterer says:

    @ Ives

    Before his injury, Arteta was an amazing at set pieces, both free kicks and corners. He doesn’t seem to quite have it back yet, but he’s still got to keep trying.

  178. TimN says:

    Landon needs to be in the EPL next season. It is quickly becoming obvious that this is not even a debatable issue. I like MLS, and think it’s great for American soccer, but at the end of the day it’s not the best place for our top talent. MLS is better suited for mid-tier or developing guys to get PT, or for aging guys who are still competitive, but not at the top level.

  179. BrianK says:

    Tim,..well said.