Everton Crush Manchester United 4-0 in Shocking Premier League Match

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2019

Manchester United's Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku (R) and Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling (L) react after Everton's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 21, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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Manchester United's poor run of form continued on Sunday, as the Red Devils lost 4-0 to Everton in the Premier League. 

Richarlison opened the scoring after 13 minutes, and Gylfi Sigurdsson doubled the advantage just before the half-hour mark. Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott added to the one-sided scoreline after the break, in what was a genuine demolition at Goodison Park. Sportswriter Rob Dawson called it one of the worst United outings in years:

Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN

In a crowded field, this is as bad as it's been post-Fergie. There have been some disgusting performances over the last six years and this is comfortably among the worst.

The Red Devils have just two wins in their last eight outings and could fall even further behind Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for the top four.


Solskjaer's Permanent Appointment Will Cost United Top 4

Sunday's disappointing outing against Everton was yet the latest in a long line for United, who have now lost six of their last eight matches across all competitions and are in real danger of losing out on a Champions League ticket for next season.

While the blame shouldn't fall on a single man, it's hard to ignore that the worst of the slide started after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was promoted from the interim position to the permanent job.

Sportswriter Sam Pilger noted the Red Devils haven't played a single good match since:

Sam Pilger @sampilger

It is an uncomfortable truth but #MUFC have not played well in any of the 5 games since Solskjaer became permanent manager

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and TV pundit Jermaine Jenas has questioned the decision:

BBC Sport @BBCSport

Jermaine Jenas says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the wrong appointment for Manchester United. "I felt it was an emotional decision and in any business it should be a thought-out logical decision for the long term." In full: https://t.co/C8SWUJudo7 #mufc https://t.co/FuouqdT7kV

It's easy to see why the Red Devils made the decision at the time. After all of the negative feelings that surrounded the club while Jose Mourinho was in charge, there was a real sense of change at Old Trafford with Solskjaer around. Rather than wait until summer, they opted to let him settle into a job a little earlier and give him time to prepare for the transfer window.

But Solskjaer seems to have lost the edge he clearly had when uncertainty surrounded his future. Some of his tactical risk-taking has backfired tremendously of late, and he likely wouldn't have taken those risks if he hadn't been appointed permanently:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Solskjaer trying to be too clever again by playing players out of position in a different formation. United getting what they deserve so far. Absolutely swamped by Everton. #mufc

Per sportswriter Miguel Delaney, the decision was a needless one:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

... it was just needless. Compare that to City where the Catalan phrase in the boardroom is “put your head in the fridge”

Real Madrid made a similar mistake with Santiago Solari earlier this season, and he couldn't even finish the campaign before he was replaced with Zinedine Zidane. United are highly unlikely to sack Solskjaer anytime soon, but there's no doubt he has blotted his copybook with the recent run of results.

The club messed with a formula that was working, and they're about to pay a heavy price. With Manchester City and Chelsea on the schedule next, United could well be out of the race for the top four one week from now.


What's Next?

United host Manchester City on Wednesday in a clash that will have major implications on both the title race and the battle for the top four.

City and Liverpool are both on lengthy unbeaten runs, with the Blues holding a one-point advantage at the top of the standings at the time of writing. Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and United all sit within a few points of each other.

Everton's next match will be on Saturday, at Crystal Palace.


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