Frank Lampard was taunted with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning” by opposition fans as Everton fell victim to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Blues reverted to the five at the back formation that earned them a point at Manchester City, hoping it would inspire a defensively strong performance, but the home side took an early lead through their first chance of the game, with Marcus Rashford being shown inside by Ben Godfrey, before sliding the ball across the box where it was converted by Antony, putting Erik Ten Hag’s side 1-0 up just three minutes in.
Everton had their first chance of the game, as Demari Gray received the ball on the outside the box from Vitaliy Mykolenko, turning inside and firing the ball at the near post, earning a corner after the ball deflected out off of David De Gea.
It was a blunder from the Spanish goalkeeper which allowed Everton back into the game after Amadou Onana won the ball back on the edge of the box and slipped in Neal Maupay, who fired a shot at De Gea’s legs. The ball seemed to get caught between his ankles, and awkwardly bobbled through towards the centre of the goalmouth where Conor Coady, who’d remained in the box following a corner, was waiting to collect the gifted goal on the 15th minute.
United were on the counterattack on the 32nd minute after Seamus Coleman gave the ball away on the edge of the opposition box, which was scooped up by Rashford, who drove his way through the middle of the pitch before taking a powerful right-footed effort which took an awkward bounce before being pushed wide by Jordan Pickford.
The second half started in unfortunate fashion for the Toffees, as Alex Iwobi fell victim to a heavy challenge from Tyrell Malacia, taking a heavy impact from the Dutch leftback as he slid through to take the ball. The midfielder, who has been a rare shining light this season, was stretchered off in the 50th minute and replaced by Abdoulaye Doucoure, and will no doubt be a big miss.
A minute later things went from bad to worse as Coady netted for the second time, this time however in his own net. Rashford danced past Coleman and fired the ball across the box, where it was met by the outstretched leg of the on-loan Wolves defender, putting the Manchester side back in front.
64 minutes in Everton failed to make the most of an exciting counter-attacking opportunity, with Doucoure driving the ball up the pitch before offloading the ball to Coleman, who’s subsequent cross fell at the feet of Mykolenko, but the shot was saved by the foot of De Gea.
Everton thought they’d found a second equaliser in the 73rd minute, after Demari Gray found Coleman with a brilliant flick, before receiving the ball back from the Republic of Ireland international just over the halfway line and bursting down the right. His cross found substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin who shouldered the ball in, but the goal was quickly disallowed by VAR on account of Gray being offside when receiving the pass from Coleman.
In a desperate attempt to get back into the game, Everton sacrificed both fullbacks in favour of Dwight McNeil and the recently returned Anthony Gordon with ten minutes left, but failed to force their way back into the game. Gray seeing an effort comfortably saved by De Gea was the away side’s only chance in the dying minutes.
United capped off their performance with a 97th minute penalty, after Alejandro Garnacho was brought down by Godfrey in the box, and Rashford sealed the tie by sending Pickford the wrong way and making it 3-1.
Everton’s exit from the FA Cup will extend the clubs long wait for a trophy, something that will be at the back of supporters’ minds as their main worry remains the ongoing fight against relegation, which with it will bring further questions about the future of Lampard’s tenure at the wheel.
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