Everton stand up against Rooney
By Andrew Cuff
Sunday 26 Oct 2008 11:00:00
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Saturday's match, kick off at 12h30 saw an in form United travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in this weekend’s Premier League clash. United saw the return of Ferdinand and Evra in the back four alongside Vidic and Brown who finally got a start in the United first team. The midfield saw Giggs and Fletcher flanked by Park and Ronaldo. The seemingly unstoppable Berbatov and Rooney up front attacking the Everton defences. Everton played Louis Saha in his second Premier League match for them against his former club, joins both Tim Howard and Phil Neville in the Everton team against United.

United come to the game after a 4 - 0 victory last weekend against WBA and a 3 - 0 victory against the Celtic giants midweek in the Champions League. The trip to Goodison Park marks Rooney’s return to his former club and a day after his 23rd birthday on Friday and currently sitting on 99 goals for United, this is a momentous occasion for the in form England striker.

United started the game with a number of good link ups in the Everton half, the breakthrough came after Giggs set up Fletcher in the 22nd minute and like a true striker took a single touch to set the ball up and a second to slot it past Howard. The rest of the first half was dominated by United with Wes Brown making two vital tackles to dispossess Everton but also make a mistake which nearl cost United the lead.

Everton 0 - 1 United (Halftime)

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The second half started with Everton looking like a totally different team. Phil Neville earning himself a yellow card after a cynical tackle on Ronaldo who was on the ground. Shortly afterwards a cross into the six yard box saw Fellaini header the ball past Van der Sar in the far corner of the box bringing the game back on level footing in the 63rd minute. Minutes later Ferdinand set up Yakubu with a badly hit back pass intended for Van der Sar. Luckily for United though the ball hit the far post and ricocheted back into play. Anderson who replaced Park in the 67th minute made a perfect pass from the half way line to set up Ronaldo in the box, though his shot was blocked.

Everton 1 - 1 United (Full time)

Bookings: Rooney, Brown, Vidic for United.

Brown had a reasonable game though bad enough to justify him staying on the bench for the next few weeks, personally I would have preferred the young Rafael to have played. The draw leaves United in 5th position a point behind Arsenal and 5 behind the leaders Chelsea, Liverpool and Hull who all are on 20 points after Hull earned another victory. Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal all have today’s match to play though presently it is only Hull who are a game ahead of United. United now lie in striking distant for Aston Villa, Portsmouth and West Ham who are 1,2 and 3 points behind United respectively.

Today sees Arsenal travelling to West Ham, Wigan host Aston Villa and Portsmouth are at home to Fulham. The biggest clash today sees Liverpool travelling to London to take on Chelsea at 1.30pm (GMT)

Now that we have gained our hour back that we lost earlier this year we return to standard GMT for all matches and next week sees United hosting the youngsters to the Premier League - Hull. The recently promoted team have made a dream start to the season with 20 points from 9 games and currently lying in the top 4 of the table. United hope to dash their hopes with a victory in a quest to regain some lost points.

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