Manchester United found themselves behind within three minutes against Everton when Dominic Calvert-Lewin capitalised on a David De Gea mistake at Goodison Park.
The Spaniard had all the time in the world to clear his lines but a moment of hesitation allowed Calvert-Lewin to close down the space and his efforts were rewarded when De Gea’s clearance deflected into the empty net.
United have shored up their defence in recent weeks, keeping five clean sheets in their last six matches. An early goal was the last thing they needed to as the Goodison Park faithful found their voice.
Thankfully for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Bruno Fernandes was on hand to equalise towards the end of the half and it was a deserved leveller as United showed the type of response that failed to muster during last season’s 4-0 thumping against the Toffees.
And that new-found spirit was on display from Lindelof following De Gea’s howler when the Swede sprinted to get the ball from the Spaniard’s net after Calvert-Lewin’s opener.
Lindelof raced back…
Retrieved the ball…
Urged De Gea to forget about the mistake…
And got the ball back up the field while Everton celebrated…
The defender raced to retrieve the ball, patted De Gea on the back and gestured to his head in an effort to calm the Spaniard and to reassure him that his side had plenty of time to level up.
Solskjaer was asked about the 4-0 defeat last April before Sunday’s game and he insisted those that remain at the club would not ‘give up’ in the fashion that the previous team did.
‘That was the lowest I’ve been,’ said Solskjaer.
‘That was a capitulation. We had absolutely nothing about us, even though their goals were more or less counterattacks from set plays and long throw-ins. Everything you didn’t want to see you saw in that game.
‘Everton at home, they’re hard to play against with two up front. They put players in the box and we knew what we were up against. I’m 100% sure we’ll put up a better performance. I can with hand on heart 100% say these boys will never give in and never give up like that team did. These are the boys we want to build the next team around. That was the day, the lowest. … I knew probably before then [our culture had to change] but we had to get to the summer first.’
United survived a late onslaught from Everton, who threatened through a series of set pieces.
Harry Maguire was given the Man of the Match award but Lindelof was equally impressive and his actions after Everton’s opener drew praise from Peter Schmeichel.
‘I actually really like Lindelof here saying “Come on, get on with it, it doesn’t really matter”,’ said Schmeichel.
‘He gets the ball, pats [De Gea] on the back and [says] “We’ve got plenty of time. We’re okay. We’re behind you” I think that’s really good.’
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