Saturday, October 25, 2008

Giggs rises to occasion but United allow Everton off the hook..

Ryan Giggs rolled back the years with a superb performance at Goodison Park today to help United take a point from a game the Champions will feel that might have won. It finished up 1-1; United had more or less complete control of the opening period without creating many clear cut goal-scoring chances.

However, on 22 minutes Ryan Giggs opened up the Toffees defence with a slide-rule pass to the feet of Darren Fletcher who took one touch before slotting the ball home through the legs of Tim Howard.

United played some nice football in the first-half and Giggs was at the heart of all that was good about the visitors’ performance. United fans have seen Giggs deployed in a variety of positions, but rarely has he looked so at home in the centre of midfield, his passing and first touch against Everton was exemplary.

Wayne Rooney had a half-chance to score but Everton's defence held firm. On-looking Reds' fans feared that United might pay for not extending their first-half lead. Those fears were fully justified because after the interval the home team had much more of the game, no doubt after a severe dressing down from David Moyes the Everton manager.

The Toffees pressure and possession eventually paid-off when they deservedly equalised after some poor defending by Rio Ferdinand, which eventually led to Marouane Fellaini scoring with a well directed header beyond Edwin van de Sar.

Ferdinand nearly made it an afternoon to forget when moments later he made a horrible attempted pass-back which played in Yakubu, but Van der Sar deflected the Nigerian's shot on to the post as it bounced to safety.

After the game, Ferguson launched an attack on referee Alan Wiley for failing to protect his players, but apart from a poor looking tackle by Phil Neville on Ronaldo, there really wasn't that much to complain about. Vidic was deservedly booked, but Rooney was wrongly cautioned in the second-half, not long after the former Everton star reacted to the home fans taunting by clutching his United badge on his shirt, not surprisingly Ferguson then substituted the United star who had not played well against his former club.

A draw was a fair result, despite Fergie's carping about Wiley. Too many United players failed to react to Everton's second-half revival. United fans will see the result as case of two dropped points rather than one gained given the Champions first-half domination, time will tell how costly this result will be.

Man of the match: Ryan Giggs.

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