After a Merseyside Derby performance that left many questioning Everton’s ability to challenge any top six side long-term, Manchester United away seemed badly timed just a matter of days later. Alas, had it not been for some injury time drama that resulted in a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty-kick, which the Swede netted, the Toffees would have emphatically silenced the doubters with a win at Old Trafford.
Phil Jagielka’s flicked effort in the first-half looked like it would be enough for a three-point haul in a game that they controlled for vast periods, especially before the interval. While the three-man midfield of Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies and Gareth Barry were instrumental in this, Everton did well to restrict Man United down the flanks, with Mason Holgate performing especially well.
The 20-year-old is back in the team after Seamus Coleman’s horrific leg break on international duty, and while he was given the runaround at Anfield on Saturday, he kept a lid on the very different threats offered up by Daley Blind, Ashley Young and Marcus Rashford across the 90 minutes…
As the numbers show, Holgate put on a quietly impressive display, with his four interceptions the most of any player on the pitch. The former Barnsley youngster also made three tackles, four clearances and committed just two fouls, while a pass success rate of 77% was a good return given his age and the importance of the game.
With Coleman set to miss the rest of the season, Ronald Koeman will be thrilled to have seen Holgate perform so well.