Sir Alex Ferguson’s gamble narrowly paid off as Javier Hernandez headed home the only goal of the game in the Premier League’s early kick off today.
Manchester United started the game without Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs against an Everton side unbeaten in 7 league games.
The Premier League leaders failed to cause much threat to the Everton defence in the first half, and it was the away side who came out with attacking intent in the second half after bringing on Tim Cahill at half time.
Victor Anichebe had a soft shout for a penalty and a long range deflected Jack Rodwell effort was well saved by Edwin van der Sar (Arsenal fans take note).
Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to bring on Patrice Evra for John O’Shea before the hour showed attacking intent, but 6 minutes later Nani was subbed off for Michael Owen. Antonio Valencia became the main creator at that point and his cross to the backpost saw Javier Hernandez’s header well tipped over the bar by Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
Phil Jagielka was having a good game in the middle of the Everton defence, but it was his central partner Sylvain Distin who gave the ball away with 7 minutes remaining that lead to a deflected Antonio Valencia cross being headed home from close range by the young Mexican.
His 12th league goal has put United one step closer to becoming the most successful team in English league history as they now have a 9 point lead over Chelsea and Arsenal who are still to play this weekend.
Hernandez has also scored late valuable goals versus Stoke City (twice), Blackpool and West Ham this season. Without the summer signing, it would be fair to say Manchester United would not be where they are today. He also scored a winning brace versus Marseille in Manchester United’s Champions League second round tie, and a key goal versus Chelsea in their successful quarter final.
I have previously suggested Chicharito is the Premier League signing of the season and today’s only backs that up.