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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Coady OG, Antony & Rashford spare De Gea’s blushes against Everton in FA Cup

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ERIK TEN HAG COULD not wait for his first taste of a competition he calls ‘special’. And this didn’t let him down. 5Antony slid home early doors to give Man Utd the leadCredit: Reuters 5Conor Coady then got Everton level after a David de Gea howlerCredit: AFP 5The Utd keeper allowed this cross through his legs for Coady to slide homeCredit: ITV 5The Toffees defender then put through his own net to hand the victory to UtdCredit: Rex A thrilling FA Cup tie beneath the lights at Old Trafford which looked to have been decided by a Conor Coady own goal in the 52nd minute. An injury-time penalty from man of the match Marcus Rashford put extra gloss on the victory which saw Antony open the scoring on four minutes before Coady himself had levelled ten minutes later. So into the fourth round for Manchester United after a seventh successive win in all competitions. For Everton boss Frank Lampard the headache gets more intense although his side did not lie down here and were only denied a second equaliser by a very tight VAR decision. With chants of ‘sack the board’ from the 9,000 away fans and the regular ‘we want Glazers out’ from the most vociferous home section the Director’s Box may not have felt the full warmth of the crowd last night. Both sides on the pitch did, however, as they played out a cracker that had an explosive opening 15 minutes. Ten Hag is clearly showing his intent to get silverware this season in whatever competition with the teams he fields. Last night’s eleven showed four changes from that which took Bournemouth apart by 3-0 here on Tuesday. It made it stronger if anything. Most read in FA Cup BETTING SPECIAL – BEST FOOTBALL BETTING SITES IN THE UK Indeed only the absence of Lisandro Martinez made it short of what many would consider to be his best side. Lampard also made four changes as he looked for a bounce back from that embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to Brighton on Tuesday. He reverted to the five at the back that had served him so well in earning a draw across town here at The Etihad against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve. Having said that it didn’t take long for United to breach it here with that early opening goal. United really are a great sight in full flow once again under Ten Hag. Anthony Martial was lively from the off and when he turned on the centre circle and sent the ball out wide to Marcus Rashford the Red Devils were off. There is nobody bursting with more confidence right now than the revived Rashford whether in front of goal or in linking with opponents. He has speed and swagger again earning him the yard he needed to deliver the perfect ball to the far post for Antony to slide onto and turn in. Martial had a long conversation with Bruno Fernandes on the plane out to Australia in pre-season about how they can start linking up better. They did just that when a poor clearance by Jordan Pickford bounced of Christian Eriksen and Fernandes put Martial in but his effort went just wide of the far post. Everton responded and on 12 minutes Demarai Gray’s shot from the edge of the area hit the post, the David De Gea’s head and fell back just the wrong side of the upright. But Everton were level when De Gea dropped a right clanger. The Spaniard had made three world-class saves in the win over Bournemouth but won’t want to see a replay of the moment that gifted the equaliser. 5Marcus Rashford added the gloss with a late penalty in additional timeCredit: Getty Amadou Onana fed Neal Maupay whose shot from a narrow angle squirmed through De Gea’s legs at the near post and Coady was there first to poke home. United almost regained their lead immediately when Rashford played Martial in one-on-one but Pickford came to the rescue. There is no let up in Ten Hag’s demands on his team and they have responded. Witness the workrate in winning the ball back in Everton’s defensive corner just before half time as four men hounded down the visitors who were trying to play out from the back. Diogo Dalot’s crunching tackle on Idrissa Gueye won the battle in the end and when the ball sprang to Christian Eriksen his shot went just over the angle. The second-half did not start well for Everton with first Alex Iwobi stretchered off after he went over on his ankle following a challenge from Tyrell Malacia. Then came the own-goal but credit Rashford for forcing the error. Eriksen found him with one of his pinpoint cross field balls that the 25-year-old immediately brought under his control. Seamus Coleman shuffled to block all angles but Rashford evaded him with ease before pulling a ball back from the byline into the six-yard box. Coady felt he had to intervene but in so doing turned the ball past his own goalkeeper. Everton thought they had an equaliser on 73 minutes after a slick break saw Coleman find Demarai Gray who fired the ball into the near post from Dominic Calvert Lewin, just on as a sub, turned it in. It had always looked tight when Coleman found Gray and the VAR concluded he was just offside. Rashford then put the icing on the cake from the spot as United saw it out. Ten Hag marches on.

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