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Manchester United held by Everton thanks to late Leighton Baines penalty

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United are back into sixth place, a point ahead of Everton.

By: Reuters |
Updated: December 5, 2016 12:25:19 am
manchester united, united, Marouane fellaini, fellaini, manchester united vs everton, zlatan ibrahimovic, paul pogba, wayne rooney, jose mourinho, football news, sports news Marouane Fellaini conceded the spot kick in the 89th minute, soon after coming on as a substitute. (Source: Reuters)

A late penalty by Leighton Baines preserved Everton’s unbeaten home record in the Premier League this season after Manchester United had taken the lead at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini conceded the spot kick in the 89th minute, soon after coming on as a substitute.

Earlier, Zlatan Ibrahimovic put United in front just before the interval with a clever lob that went in off the bar and post after his former Ajax Amsterdam team mate, goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, unwisely rushed out of the penalty area.

United, without the suspended Wayne Rooney, hit the frame of the goal with a drive by Ander Herrera but David de Gea had to make a series of saves as the home side improved.

The visitors are now sixth in the table, a point ahead of Everton, but it was another example of United squandering points.

They have drawn their last three league games and six out of eight, leaving them nine points behind the top four places.

“We are not getting what we deserve,” manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports. “In every one of our draws we … deserved to win.

“I’m happy my team is playing extremely well. But this season what matters is the results.”

Mourinho, conscious perhaps of attracting further disciplinary sanctions, refused to comment on the penalty award. Ibrahimovic’s goal was the first shot on target in an uneventful first half.

The only other notable incident before the interval was the two-footed tackle by United’s Marcos Rojo on Idrissa Gueye. He received a yellow card and Ibrahimovic escaped one later when he caught Seamus Coleman on the head with his boot.

Everton, with one win from nine games, dropped captain Phil Jagielka and took a long time to get going.

When they did, De Gea denied Kevin Mirallas, Gueye and Enner Valencia, one of Ronald Koeman’s three substitutes.

He also sent on Gerard Deulofeu and Mason Holgate, leaving Ross Barkley on the bench, but the crucial change was the introduction of Fellaini a few minutes from the end.

The Belgian’s first intervention was a clumsy challenge on Gueye that caused the penalty.

“The team performance was positive and we showed great organisation,” manager Koeman said. “We made it difficult for United to create anything.

“One point was the minimum we deserved. It was a fair result. We’re still unbeaten at home so we are very happy.”

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