Manchester United vs Everton: Premier League Weekend Wrap-Up

Matthew JamesContributor IIIApril 23, 2012

Everton vs Man U at Old Trafford
Everton vs Man U at Old TraffordAlex Livesey/Getty Images

With a victory, Manchester United would have moved one step closer to clinching a consecutive Premier League title.  Because of this draw, they are not out of the woods just yet.

However, the 4-4 result was fantastic for Everton, who are fighting to distance themselves from Liverpool.  The Toffees are now commanding a two-point lead over their Merseyside rivals, who lost 1-0 to West Brom.

The first half-hour of the match did not foreshadow the excitement that would take hold of the match in the second half.  Few chances were seen apart from Nani's wide attempt and Nikica Jelavic's lazy strike to David de Gea.

Blood wasn't drawn until the 34th minute.  Tony Hibbert exploited Nani's soft coverage on the right wing and delivered a bending cross to United's back post where Jelavic made a sneaky run.  The Croatian leaped above Rafael to head the ball over a beaten de Gea. 

 Everton 1.  United 0.

Everton's lead was short-lived, as Manchester was quick to respond.  With five minutes before half time, league leaders sent a flurry of shots and crosses into the box before Wayne Rooney eventually nodded a hard cross past Tim Howard's feet.  Nani was credited with the assist. 

Everton 1.  United 1. 

United took the lead in the 57th minute with Danny Welbeck's immaculate strike to the upper corner.  Leading up to the goal was a series of poor clearances by Everton's defense. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22:  Nikica Jelavic of Everton rises to score the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 22, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Get
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Eventually, Welbeck brought the ball down just outside of the box.  A shot fake neutralized Johnny Heitinga before United's young striker sent the ball sailing past Howard. 

Everton 1.  United 2. 

Manchester then expanded their lead four minutes later.  After a phenomenal display of passing from Michael Carrick, Nani broke free of his defender, and Welbeck slid the ball to his feet.  The Portuguese winger casually chipped the ball over Howard.

Everton 1.  United 3.

The match's outcome was beginning to look bleak for the Merseysiders until Marouane Fellaini contributed the goal of the afternoon.  Tony Hibbert was the supplier once again as he crossed to ball to the penalty spot from the right wing. 

Fellaini was there waiting and volleyed a hard shot into the net. David de Gea got a finger to it, but the Belgian hit the ball with too much power.

Everton 2.  United 3.

A few moments later, Everton looked as if they would draw level.  teven Pienaar shot the ball toward the side netting, but de Gea was there.

The next goal of this fantastic shootout came from none other than Wayne Rooney. Welbeck notched his second assist as he set Rooney up for a one-on-one with Tim Howard. 

Everton 2.  United 4. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United scores his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 22, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livese
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Except for Patrice Evra’s header off the upright, the last ten minutes were dominated by Everton. 

With the outcome of the match looking dim, Nikica Jelavic answered the call by netting a volley of his
own.  The ball fell to his feet twelve yards out and he buried it into the corner.  David de Gea could only watch.

Everton 3.  United 4.

The conclusion of the match was determined by Steven Pienaar.  Marouane Fellaini deftly received the ball before picking out Pienaar, who had slipped away unnoticed by Manchester’s defense.  Hitting it first-time, he slotted the ball past de Gea from close range.

Everton 4.  United 4.

The explosive finale was a fitting end to the high-scoring match.