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Everton

Four of the best statistics from Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Everton

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Manchester United’s convincing start to the new Premier League season continued on Sunday evening as three late goals proved enough to secure three points against Everton at Old Trafford.

Antonio Valencia put the hosts in front after just four minutes when his sublime half-volley from around 25-yards crashed past Jordan Pickford into the far corner, his first home goal since 2012/13.

Everton nearly hauled themselves back into the game during the second-half, with the returning Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson both denied from close range by fine stops from David de Gea.

However, Jose Mourinho’s side ran away with it in the final ten minutes, with Romelu Lukaku scoring against his former side and efforts from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial making it four.

The result sees Manchester United re-join Manchester City at the top of the table, with both sides currently holding identical records five games in, whilst Everton sit precariously in the bottom three.

See below for four intriguing statistics that defined Manchester United’s victory over the Toffees.

100 – Magnificent De Gea brings up his unbeaten century

Whilst yet another 4-0 score-line this season suggests that Manchester United ran away with the match, it certainly flattered to deceive as Everton were arguably unlucky not to score themselves.

United’s first-half dominance had failed to earn a match-clinching second goal and, within minutes of the second-half beginning, they were indebted to David de Gea for keeping the hosts in the lead.

He stood tall when faced with Wayne Rooney bearing down on goal, blocking his goal-bound shot with his legs, before producing a carbon copy stop from Gylfi Sigurdsson when just a few yards out.

Yet another clean sheet this season – United’s fourth in five games – signalled the 100th clean sheet of De Gea’s United career, and it’s hard to deny that he’s the main world-class player of the current team.

When he burst on to the scene at Old Trafford back in 2011 as an erratic, inconsistent goalkeeper there wouldn’t have been many that could have predicted the meteoric rise that would follow over the next six years, but now there’s a serious claim for De Gea being the best ‘keeper in the world.

30.5 – Super-sub Martial strikes again

It’s hard to believe that it has already been two years since Anthony Martial announced himself in the Premier League with his solo effort against Liverpool, and it’s been a roller-coaster ride for him since.

But it seems that his days spent on the precipice of first-team football are long behind him after an impressive start to the new season, with the Frenchman being involved in a goal every 30.5 minutes.

He may have only made one start in United’s five games to date but the impact he has had on matches from the bench has secured points for his side on a number of occasions already, scoring three times – including a late penalty against Everton yesterday – and assisting once in 122 minutes of action.

Whilst he won’t want to make a name for himself as a substitute, instead vying for a more consistent starting berth, it just goes to show the strength in depth that boss Jose Mourinho has at his disposal.

12 – Everton’s woeful week shows worrying signs

It was a week where Everton could have turned their early season form around and make a big statement of intent, with vital encounters against Tottenham, Atalanta and Manchester United.

But Ronald Koeman’s side have endured a nightmare eight days, losing all three matches in a worryingly convincing style – 12-0 on aggregate – and failing to trouble the scores whilst doing so.

The Dutchman’s summer spending looked to have the hallmarks of a strong squad on paper, despite the leading absence of a proven striker, but there’s a glaring lack of creativity and end product in the side.

The fact that record-signing Gylfi Sigurdsson was stationed in a left-back position for most of the opening half at Old Trafford tells its own story, and Everton desperately need to get out of their rut.

Home fixtures against Sunderland, Bournemouth and Apollon Limassol across three different competitions gives them the perfect opportunity to get some much needed and confidence-boosting victories under their belt, and Koeman will pray that one win can finally kick-start their season.

9 – United’s late, late show

A third 4-0 triumph of the Premier League season in just five matches has compounded Jose Mourinho’s excellent start, but it’s the manner of these victories that has been most intriguing.

Nine of Manchester United’s 16 goals so far this season have come in the 80th minute or later, highlighting just how strong their options are on the bench and just how much they try to wear down the opposition before striking late, and Sunday’s win was reminiscent of the victory away at Swansea.

It’s clear to see that the competition for wide places between Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard has benefitted United, and it’s a good sign of things to come this campaign.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Everton

Liverpool fans will love who are favourites to sign Mario Balotelli

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Mario Balotelli
Photo: Getty Images.

Mario Balotelli is not a man who conjures up fond memories for Liverpool fans, but that could all be about to change if the betting is accurate in forecasting where he could move if he leaves OGC Nice this summer with one Premier League side leading the race to bring him back to England.

Whilst Serie A sides are the frontrunners in the betting to sign Mario Balotelli, there are also several English clubs in the mix, based on odds offered by Sky Bet. Favourites are the side that Liverpool fans would both find hilarious and dread in equal measure: Everton.

Odds on the controversial Italian moving to Goodison Park this summer are as low as 8/1, whilst West Ham are also in the running at 12/1.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The centre forward picked up more yellow cards, seven, than goals, four, during his time on Merseyside but has scored 39 goals in 61 games for his new club in France and insists he’s a new, mature man.

Italy still seems his most likely destination with Napoli and Juventus leading the odds, but a move to Everton would give Balotelli the chance to either redeem himself with Liverpool fans by failing as much as he did at Anfield, or rebuild his reputation in the country where he made his name with Manchester City.

The Toffees are desperate to add firepower up-front, but having been so disappointed by their business last summer it is hard to see how taking a gamble on a player as volatile as Balotelli would be a wise move.

That said, they know that the quality is clearly there within the player and may have the same hope as Brendan Rodgers did when he signed Balotelli for Liverpool, that they can bring him in cheap, get the best out of him and sell him on for a profit.

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Bournemouth

Can Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe become Everton’s next ‘David Moyes’?

Eddie Howe could follow in the footsteps of former Toffees boss David Moyes.

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Eddie Howe
Photo: Getty Images

On Wednesday night, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side were unlucky to fall to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, as the Premier League 11th ranked club gave the Red Devils a torrid time.

The remarkable success of the young English manager at Dean Court bears an uncanny resemblance to the career path of David Moyes. Just like Moyes, Howe would be a perfect fit at Goodison Park.

In 1998, Moyes began his managerial career at the tender age of 34 at Preston North End, who were then struggling at the foot of the third division of English football. The Scot proceeded to engineer a fantastic turnaround at the club, avoiding relegation in his first season and achieving promotion just two years later.

Moyes brought Preston within inches of promotion to the Premier League the very next season, but the Lilywhites were defeated in the play-off final by Bolton.

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League

(Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

In 2002, the Merseyside club came knocking, signing Moyes in March with the club in the relegation dogfight. The Glaswegian kept the Toffees up that season, and the rest is history.

11 years at Goodison Park brought unprecedented success, with Champions League qualification, a string of top-seven finishes, and even finishing above dreaded rivals Liverpool on occasion.

Just like Moyes, Eddie Howe started his career in coaching in his early thirties, and has enjoyed immense success in lifting a lower-league club up the English league system.

Howe took over at Bournemouth when he was 31, steering them clear of the League 2 relegation places in 2009, gaining promotion to League 1 in 2010, going up to the Championship in 2014, and reaching the Premier League in 2015.

If anything, Howe has experienced more success than Moyes before joining Everton, as his Bournemouth side have tremendously overachieved in the top flight and look set to secure their Premier League status for the third consecutive year.

Everton would do well to acquire the services of the youthful English manager in the summer, as his arrival just might spark a similar revival to that of David Moyes.

With his incredible knack of getting the best out of his players, Howe would revitalise the Toffees and breath fresh life into a directionless club; just like the Scot did 16 years ago.

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Burnley

Sold by Everton in January, Aaron Lennon is enjoying resurgence with Burnley

The 31-year-old has quickly adjusted to life at Turf Moor.

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Photo: Getty Images

In Thursday night’s tightly-fought Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea, the Clarets came within touching distance of eclipsing Arsenal in sixth position.

It has been a remarkable charge up the table for Burnley, and their stunning season is mirrored by the transfer of Aaron Lennon from Everton to Turf Moor.

The 31-year-old winger left Goodison Park in search of regular playing time, and has since slotted into a squad far more ambitious than Everton.

When Lennon was bought by the Clarets in late January, Burnley were just three points ahead of the Toffees. But after Thursday’s match against Chelsea, Burnley now sit in seventh position, a massive ten points in front of Everton.

It is clear that Lennon made the smart move in the winter when leaving struggling Everton for buoyant Burnley.

The ten-point gap between the two sides is due mainly to a superb five-match winning run engineered by Burnley. Lennon had started all five of those matches, contributing two assists along the way along with a host of bright, attacking displays.

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Cruelly for the Merseyside club, Burnley’s scintillating spell was kickstarted by a 2-1 win over Everton, in which Lennon played all 90 minutes and earned an impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.3.

To make matters worse for Everton, Lennon’s match rating eclipsed both Theo Walcott’s and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s, both players who were preferred in front of the 31-year-old at Goodison Park.

Although Burnley’s fine spell was narrowly ended by Chelsea in a 2-1 defeat, the club still harbours an outside chance at an audacious sixth-place finish. Burnley faces three sides in the bottom half of the table in the form of Bournemouth, Brighton, and Stoke City, as well as a massive match at the Emirates to face Arsenal.

With Arsenal enduring a terrible run of form in 2018, Burnley will fancy their chances away at the Gunners, and former Everton winger Aaron Lennon will surely be at the heart of their lethal attack.

If Lennon can achieve a record-sixth placed finish with the Clarets, he will show the Everton hierarchy just how wrong they were in letting him leave in January.

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