Cristiano Ronaldo proves value in Man United win vs. Everton

LIVERPOOL, UK– After a thorough dismantling by Manchester City in their last Premier League game, Manchester United rallied to a 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Everton’s Alex Iwobi and United’s Antony traded goals within the first 15 minutes until an injury to Anthony Martial changed the course of play.

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Martial came on as a substitute in the 29th minute and Cristiano Ronaldo came on to score the eventual game-winner in the 44th minute.

ESPN’s Rob Dawson has Goodison Park’s reaction and analysis.

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Fast reaction

1. Ronaldo hits No. 700 to bolster United

It is now a sign of Cristiano Ronaldo’s status that he has been used as a substitute in a league game for the fifth consecutive year at Goodison Park since his youth at Sporting Lisbon.

But at 37 he still has a deadly ability in front of goal and showed it when he raced on Casemiro’s pass to shoot deep under Jordan Pickford.

It was Ronaldo’s 700th goal of his club career and it was the latest evidence that there may be more to come. It was only Ronaldo’s second goal of the season as he was vying for a regular spot in Erik ten Hag’s team, but it was a crucial goal that helped propel Manchester United to an important win in a game that felt it might have another banana peel afterwards can be the derby mole against Manchester City and the awkward trip to Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League.

A gap is starting to open between the top three of Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham and everyone else and it was vital United bounced back from the result at the Etihad Stadium and maintained the pace in the race for the top four.

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2. More War Injuries

It came as no surprise that Anthony Martial got his first start of the season after scoring three off the bench against Manchester City and Omonia Nicosia last week – but things didn’t go the way he would have liked.

Martial set up United’s first goal with an inch-perfect pass for Antony but his evening was over within the first 30 minutes as he hobbled away with another injury.

It’s been a frustrating season for Martial, who looked well in pre-season before suffering a pre-season hamstring problem and picking up an Achilles injury after returning as a substitute against Liverpool in August. As a result, he missed the next five games and he can only hope that the latest setback is not serious.

Martial’s injury woes will also have an impact on Ronaldo, and not just because he replaced the Frenchman against Everton. Ten Hag cannot count on Martial being available and the United manager is already reluctant to let Ronaldo go in January amid fears he would lack options up front in the second half of the season. The only other recognized striker in the squad is Marcus Rashford and he has also been injured this season.

3. Everton miss opportunity to shake United

Man United arrived at Goodison Park after a difficult week courtesy of Manchester City and Omonia Nicosia but Everton missed a golden opportunity to apply more pressure.

Everton had the opening goal thanks to Antony putting Casemiro in trouble and Amadou Onana depriving the Brazilian of the ball but they were then guilty of throwing away their advantage. United don’t always deal with setbacks well and when Alex Iwobi scored Goodison leaped up – but they were quickly taken off the hook with two errors in midfield that allowed United to score twice before half-time and all the players scared felt eliminated by Ten Hag.

Antony’s equalizer – the first United player to score in his first three Premier League games – came just 10 minutes after Iwobi’s goal – but had Everton stayed cool a little longer it would have been a very awkward night for United on a ground where they have had some poor results of late.

Frank Lampard has been quietly making his team hard to beat since they lost the first two games of the season and he will be frustrated that they didn’t make United work harder for the points. Everton have made progress since last season’s flirtation with relegation but Lampard could feel his team missed a chance to make a statement against United.

Player Ratings

Everton: Pickford 6, Coleman 5, Mykolenko 6, Tarkovsky 6, Coady 6, Gueye 5, Onana 6, Gray 6, Iwobi 7, Gordon 7, Maupay 5.

Subtitle: McNeil 6, Garner 6, Calvert-Lewin 6, Rondon 6.

Man United: De Gea 7, Dalot 7, Shaw 6, Lindelof 6, Martinez 7, Casemiro 7, Eriksen 6, Fernandes 6, Rashford 6, Antony 7, Martial 6.

Subtitle: Ronaldo 8, McTominay 6, Varane 6.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United

He worked hard to lead the line when he came on and clinched the win with a sharp run and shot.

WORST: Seamus Coleman, Everton

The right-back is nearing the end of his career and has struggled to cope with the pace and tricks of Rashford and Antony, failing to make the most of some good positions.

Highlights and notable moments

Iwobi opened the scoring for Everton with a stellar performance within the first handful of minutes:

Antony pulled one back 10 minutes later and Martial, nodding against Ronaldo, was forced to back out in the 29th minute, making room for the Portuguese striker.

Just before half-time, Ronaldo made a statement and coolly scored his 700th career goal in club play.

After the game: What the players and coaches said

“It’s still difficult to count goals for Ronaldo because every week seems like a new record,” his Portugal international Bruno Fernandes told BT Sport. “I’m really happy because he worked hard to get that goal. Today he got the goal and the win and that’s the most important thing for him that the team won.”

“It’s really impressive when you score 700 goals, it’s a huge achievement,” said United manager Erik ten Hag. “I’m very happy for him and I congratulate him on that. I’m also very happy that it’s his first goal of the season in the Premier League. I’m sure there are more goals to come for him.”

Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 700th club goal of his career in all competitions: 450 with Real Madrid, 144 with Man United, 101 with Juventus, five with Sporting.

  • Man United become the first team in Premier League history to win 100 games by conceding the first goal. Next on the list are Tottenham (96) and Liverpool (85).


Everton: The Toffees travel to Tottenham at 12:30pm ET on Saturday for a game against Spurs.

Manchester United: The Red Devils host Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday at 15:00 ET. They have a quick turnaround to return to the Premier League against Newcastle on Sunday 16 October. Cristiano Ronaldo proves value in Man United win vs. Everton

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