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LIVERPOOL: Everton’s Ukrainian defender #19 Vitaliy Mykolenko (L) fights for the ball with Manchester United’s English striker #10 Marcus Rashford during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park in Liverpool. – AFP
LIVERPOOL: Everton’s Ukrainian defender #19 Vitaliy Mykolenko (L) fights for the ball with Manchester United’s English striker #10 Marcus Rashford during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park in Liverpool. – AFP
Garnacho stunning overhead kick helps Man Utd quell Everton fury
Erik ten Hag’s men have now won five of their last six league games

LIVERPOOL: Manchester United rubbed salt into Everton’s wounds as Alejandro Garnacho’s stunning overhead kick helped the Red Devils to a 3-0 win that left the Toffees rooted in the Premier League relegation zone.

Everton’s first match since receiving a 10-point deduction for breaches of financial rules was met with a furious response at Goodison Park as the home support held up thousands of placards labelling the Premier League “corrupt”.

But the match was only three minutes old when Garnacho produced a sublime piece of skill that will go down as one of the great Premier League goals. The 19-year-old Argentine sprang to meet Diogo Dalot’s hanging cross flush on the volley and fire into Jordan Pickford’s top left-hand corner.

“I cannot believe it. To be honest I just turned around and thought ‘oh my God’,” said Garnacho. That moment of magic was out of keeping with another patchy United performance, but Marcus Rashford’s penalty and Anthony Martial’s strike ensured Erik ten Hag’s men have now won five of their last six league games.

“It was a fantastic goal. (The) season is still many games to play but probably already the goal of the season,” said Ten Hag. “We knew beforehand it was going to be difficult but we enjoy those challenges.” United climb up to sixth in the table and within six points of leaders Arsenal despite a troubled season.

The visitors had to cope with a febrile atmosphere as the Everton support took out their frustrations on the authorities for being handed the most severe sporting sanction in Premier League history. After two seasons battling relegation, Sean Dyche’s men looked to have pulled clear of trouble thanks to a fine recent run of form.

But they are now off the bottom of the table only on goal difference and five points adrift of safety. Everton were left to rue a series of missed chances after Garnacho stunned the raucous home support early on. Dominic Calvert-Lewin twice failed to make the most of excellent headed chances.

Mainoo shines

Teenager Kobbie Mainoo shone on his first Premier League start for United and only a goalline clearance from the midfielder denied Dwight McNeil an equalizer after Andre Onana parried Calvert-Lewin’s initial effort.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then slotted another glorious opportunity wide as Everton failed to press home their dominance before the break. And the feeling among the home support that the world is against them was not helped when VAR intervened early in the second period to award United a controversial penalty.

Referee John Brooks had initially booked Martial for diving as he went down in the box under a challenge from Ashley Young. The contact appeared minimal for VAR to get involved, but Brooks overturned his decision after viewing a replay.

“The VAR thing this year, it’s been all over the place. It’s the simplest thing but it seems to be mayhem all the time,” said Dyche. “You’re 2-0 down all of a sudden from a nothing moment, one you think has gone for you.”

Bruno Fernandes handed responsibility from the spot to Rashford and the England international took the chance to smash home his first club goal since September 3. “Marcus needed a bit of confidence, he needed his goal,” said Fernandes.

“He is an excellent penalty taker. I was sure he could score that penalty and Marcus did it perfectly.” Martial was making a rare start in the absence of the injured Rasmus Hojlund and rounded off United’s biggest league win of the season with a cool finish from Fernandes’ through ball 15 minutes from time. — AFP

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