LIVERPOOL – Manchester United eased the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 3-1 win at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday (Nov 7) with Bruno Fernandes scoring twice and Edinson Cavani grabbing his first for the club.
United have failed to win at home in the league this season and there were questions over Solskjaer’s future after the midweek defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.
Fernandes told BT Sport: “It was a great end to the game. We knew what we had to do [today] and we did it well.
“We did some mistakes in the second half, maybe we were a bit more confident and wanted to go forward and we didn’t keep the ball too much. After the first goal we had a great reaction and we did what we had to do.
“We know our quality. We worked hard for the game. It was difficult to recover after the [Basaksehir] game. This was the moment to do something in this game and we did it.”
The loss was the third straight defeat for Carlo Ancelotti’s side who, after being the early season pace-setters, have now slipped to fifth in the standings.
The pressure on Solskjaer intensified when Everton took the lead in the 19th minute with Brazilian winger Bernard’s low drive through Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s legs squeezing in the bottom corner.
Six minutes later though, United drew level when Fernandes met a Luke Shaw cross from the left with a perfectly angled and firm header.
Everton left back Lucas Digne then struck the post from a promising position but United were growing into the game and it was no surprise when they took the lead.
Fernandes floated in a cross from the left which Marcus Rashford rose to head into the bottom corner but although the striker failed to connect, the ball went in off the post.
Substitute Cavani added the third in stoppage time, finishing off a counter-attack led by Fernandes for his first goal since joining the club on deadline day last month.
United captain Harry Maguire said: “We knew we had to get three points today. It’s early in the season and we don’t look at the table but the points we have accumulated isn’t good enough for this club.
“It’s important to bounce back from setbacks. We did it at Newcastle. We started the game really well but conceded a disappointing goal from a long, direct ball and we should have had better cover. We’ve been questioned but we know we don’t answer them in 90 minutes, we answer them day in, day out.
“The lads are working tirelessly for this club, everyone wants to improve and do better. The manager has to pull the lads off the training ground.
“I think we know the first goal in Istanbul can’t happen. We went away to Turkey and knew it would be tough game. It made it a frustrating night for us and the individuals knew in the changing room straight after and held their hands up and apologised.
“We are a good group who work really hard and we’re all in this together.”