Rafa Benitez led his Everton team to a point at Old Trafford as the Toffees held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Anthony Martial gave United the lead in the first half with an assured finish inside the box after Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina were dragged inside, with Andros Townsend failing to provide cover for the former.
Excellent play from Demarai Gray created space for Aboulaye Doucoure in the middle and he then threaded the ball through for Townsend to clinically convert the equaliser.
Whilst Townsend may grab the headlines with his Old Trafford strike, Rafa Benitez’s unsung hero was Godfrey at right-back.
The ex-Norwich man is a central defender by trade but did not look out of place at right-back as he impressed in Manchester. He was strong defensively and composed on the ball, almost setting up a late winner for Everton in the second half.
Godfrey controlled the ball 25 yards out and prodded a clever ball through to Tom Davies in acres of space inside the United penalty area, only for the midfielder to pass to an offside Yerry Mina instead of making use of the time he had to get a shot away himself. The 23-year-old had the time to set himself and take a free shot at David de Gea’s goal, which could have resulted in an assist for Godfrey.
Defensively, Godrey was a rock for Everton. As per SofaScore, he won eight duels during the game, including five of his seven attempted ground duels. He also made six clearances and four tackles, whilst only being dribbled past once in the entire match.
This shows how strong he was at the back for the Toffees. You could question his positioning on the Martial goal, although he was trying to prevent Bruno Fernandes from doing damage and did not have any support from his winger, which made it a difficult situation for him to handle.
Aside from that incident, however, he was almost flawless. Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo came on in the second half and Godfrey did not give a sniff to either of them, particularly Sancho on his flank, as he was able to stay solid throughout the 90 minutes.
Never mind Townsend, the 23-year-old defender was the real hero for Everton today. Benitez will surely be delighted with his display and hoping that he can maintain this standard for the rest of the campaign, whether he is playing at centre-back or right-back.