Another home fixture, another disappointing result for Manchester United. The Red Devils are now tenth in the Premier League’s home table, incurring a disturbing nine draws at Old Trafford – including last night’s 1-1 affair with Everton.
It was a tense evening that saw the Toffees produce an impressive rearguard display after going 1-0 up through Phil Jagielka, eventually unravelled by Ashley Williams’ almost heartbreaking erroneous handball in the latter moments, conceding the penalty which Zlatan Ibrahimovic swiftly converted.
Whilst Jose Mourinho’s side may be struggling at the more glamorous end of the pitch, however, Marcos Rojo’s meek presence for Jagielka’s cute flick from an uncleared corner was the only mistake suffered by an otherwise water-tight defence that allowed just four shots on target.
Crucial to that was summer signing Eric Bailly, who used his power, leap and speed to nullify the likewise physicality of Premier League top scorer Romelu Lukaku. The Ivory Coast international finished the match with the most tackles, interceptions and blocked shots of any United player, whilst ranking second for aerial duels won and clearances.
Centre-back has been a bit of a problem position for Mourinho this season, with Bailly, Rojo, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind filling in there throughout the campaign – leading to a continued debate over who should be first choice and who could leave during the next transfer window.
But the former was signed from Villarreal as the United gaffer’s long-term option and last night’s performance suggests he’s more than ready to take the role week in, week out next season.