Man Utd 2-0 Everton: Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford penalties clinch victory for Erik ten Hag’s side

Man Utd 2-0 Everton: Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford penalties clinch victory for Erik ten Hag’s side

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford both scored penalties as Manchester United kept alive their hopes of Champions League qualification with a hard-fought victory against a wasteful Everton.

The impressive Alejandro Garnacho won both penalties in the first half that were converted by Fernandes and Rashford to secure a 2-0 win at Old Trafford that moved United to within eight points of fourth-placed Aston Villa. Villa play Spurs, who are fifth, on Sunday.

Defeat extended Everton’s winless run to 11 matches and their lack of cutting edge will concern manager Sean Dyche given his team’s relegation battle.

For United, this was a vital victory after back-to-back league defeats to Fulham and derby rivals Manchester City.

Garnacho was a thorn in Everton’s side all afternoon and won the first of the two penalties in the 12th minute when James Tarkowski swiped away his left leg. Fernandes converted the spot-kick.

The United captain – who also saw a fine free kick saved by Jordan Pickford – then handed over penalty duties to Rashford after Garnacho won another free-kick later in the first period after being tripped by Ben Godfrey. It was an interesting decision but Rashford rewarded his team-mate’s faith with a cool finish from 12 yards.

Everton had two other penalty scares when Vitalii Mykolenko twice handled the ball but referee Simon Hooper and the VAR ruled they did not warrant the award of spot-kicks.

Everton have not won in the Premier League since mid December and that is understandable considering their profligacy. Amadou Onana was the first to err when he failed to connect properly with a superb cross from Dwight McNeil in the third minute. Onana then blasted over from an inviting position after Andre Onana saved James Garner’s shot.

McNeil sent a shot narrowly wide and had another blocked by Raphael Varane and substitute Lewis Dobbin should have done better from close range in the second half when he screwed his effort wide after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s knockdown from Mykolenko’s cross.-Agencies

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