Three things from Goodison Park: Everton vs Manchester United
Manchester United`s 0-2 defeat at Goodison Park may well prove to be the final nail in the coffin for David Moyes, as the Scot continues to embattle with Red Devils faltering fortunes under his reign. Following are three stark points which further aggravated the situation for Moyes:
1. Finally a league double for Everton over Manchester
Manchester United boss, David Moyes, could not find any good in his first return at Goodison Park on Sunday. The former Toffees manager was welcomed with jeer as Manchester United players took field in the hope of avoiding a league double loss to the hosts.
Under the threat of conceding early goals, Phil Jones unnecessarily stuck out his arm to block a potentially harmless ball inside the box. Result – a penalty, duly converted by Leighton Baines. 28th minute: Everton 1-0 Manchester United.
Just before the half-time, Kevin Mirallas scored from a Seamus Coleman delivery for a comfortable 2-0 lead. The scoreline stayed same for the remainder of the match, thus providing the Merseyside club their first league double over the most successful English club in 44 years. The last time they did so was in the 1969-70 season.
In fact, it was also the first time that both the Merseyside clubs - Liverpool and Everton - have completed the double over Manchester United in the same season. And the `noisy neighbours` have also achieved this feat for the first time in the history. Some records, for sure.
2. Manchester United`s lowest possible league position and points
The eleventh defeat in the league is not yet a record for the most losses in a season for Manchester United. But it has certainly kept them on course for their lowest league position since finishing 13th in the 1989-90 season. This season, teams like West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Newcastle, Swansea and Stoke have inflicted historic defeats to the Red Devils.
Starting the season as defending champions, Manchester United, under David Moyes tasted their first defeat as early as the third game of the season, to their fierce rivals Liverpool on September 01. Twenty one days later, other Manchester club – City thrashed them 4-1.
Within a week, Old Trafford suffered their first league defeat of the season at home, to travelling Albions. On December 4, Moyes hosted his former club at home and gifted the Toffees their first win at Old Trafford in 21 attempts. This defeat was followed by another, this time by Newcastle United, with similar scoreline of 0-1.
2014 started in the worst possible way, as Tottenham Hotspur inflicted yet another home defeat on January 1. Then defeats by Chelsea and Stoke City have impaired their reputation beyond acceptable lines with majority of fans calling for Moyes` head, including an air-plane message which read: “WRONG ONE – MOYES OUT,” all in caps. After a relatively quiet February, Manchester United lost to Liverpool and Manchester City in the return leg.
More so, with four games left and a possible 12 points to earn, Manchester United can win only a maximum of 69 points. It will be their lowest points tally since the inception of Premier League.
3. Manchester United out of Champions League
Manchester United will not play in Champions League next season. This will be the first time since 1995-96 season, and only the second time in the competition`s 23-year-old history that the famous Red Devils from Greater Manchester will not compete in the greatest club competition in the world.
However, their European chances are still alive mathematically, even if they finish seventh in the league.
If Arsenal win the FA Cup and fail to finish in top-four, the seventh best team in England will enter the Europa League. Like this: Arsenal will enter the competition as the winners of FA Cup, thus leaving a vacant spot to fill-up the sixth place, considering England`s top six qualify for Europe – top four teams in Champions League, and the fifth and sixth place teams in the second tier Europa League.
The worst possible position Arsenal could find themselves is 6th, having already accumulated 70 points with three games remaining, and the best possible position United can finish is fifth if both Everton, with 69 points and Tottenham, with 63 points, lose all their respective three remaining matches. Which is very unlikely, to say the least.