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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Goodison Park | 11th September 2010 12:45

Everton v Man Utd

Everton hit two injury-time goals to snatch a sensational late point against Manchester United at Goodison Park.

As the clock ticked beyond 90 minutes, David Moyes' men looked destined for defeat with the visitors holding a 3-1 advantage.

The Blues pulled themselves within a goal though when Tim Cahill headed home a Leighton Baines cross, before a Mikel Arteta effort deflected in off Paul Scholes to add the most dramatic of conclusions to an enthralling encounter.

Steven Pienaar had earlier given Everton the lead seven minutes before half time, though Darren Fletcher levelled from close range just four minutes later.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side then went in front through Nemanja Vidic, and when Dimitar Berbatov fired a third, the contest looked over.

But as the fourth official's board signalled an additional three minutes, Cahill's trademark effort bred hope. The Australian then nodded down another Baines centre and Arteta did just enough to spark wild scenes of jubilation among the home faithful.

There was even time for Phil Jagielka to provide one final test for goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, though the final whistle blew as the defender burst forward - much to the evident frustration of Moyes.

Steven Pienaar scores against Manchester UnitedMarouane Fellaini congratulates Steven Pienaar on his opener

Club captain Phil Neville was only fit enough to make the bench on his return to the squad following a foot injury, so the skippering duties were again handed to Arteta.

Moyes made two changes to the side that was unfortunate to suffer defeat at Villa Park before the international break, Leon Osman and John Heitinga coming in for Jermaine Beckford and the injured Jack Rodwell.

The big news from the Manchester United camp was that former Everton striker Wayne Rooney was not in their squad.

But if Everton's teamsheet was missing a recognised striker, it belied their early attacking intent. The Blues took the game to Ferguson's side from the off and, within 60 seconds, Baines and Pienaar linked to create an opportunity for the South African, only for it to be deflected wide of the upright.

A crunching Gary Neville tackle on Pienaar on six minutes allowed Arteta to try his luck from 25 yards, and the Spaniard showed why he is such a threat with the deadball, his curled effort grazing the top of Van der Sar's crossbar.

Darren Fletcher equalises for UnitedDarren Fletcher equalises for United

Arteta was leading by example and when he sold a dummy to John O'Shea moments later, he created room to fire goalwards. This time his effort skewed wide off Jonny Evans.

Pienaar's low drive was blocked from the resulting corner and though the rebound fell kindly for Osman, the midfielder's attempt sailed high into the Park End.

On top? Everton were dominating. So much so that United's first real attack didn't come until the 15-minute mark. It ended with O'Shea attempting an audacious first-time effort which skimmed off the bar.

Baines might have done better when a chance fell to him 10-yards out soon after, but the left back rushed his shot and the ball crawled wide of the target.

As the contest edged towards half time, United began to have a more even share of possession and, with it, came opportunities. In Tim Howard, though, they found a keeper in fine form. Everton were twice indebted to the American as he produced a stunning instinctive save to deny Scholes before standing tall to thwart Ryan Giggs from close range. 

The second stop proved timely - a minute later Everton went ahead. Cahill sent a long punt forward for Arteta, and when Patrice Evra misjudged his header, the Spaniard was left through on goal. His shot was saved by Van der Sar but the ball fell for Osman and he craftly directed it into the path of Pienaar, allowing the South African to sweep into the net.

The advantage was deserved - but equally short-lived. Just four minutes later Nani found room down the right to deliver a dangerous centre and Fletcher got between Baines and Heitinga to steer past Howard from six yards.

Berbatov may then have given United the lead before the break, his volley sailing only inches wide of the upright.

Tim Cahill and Manchester United's NaniTim Cahill battles with Nani

As it was, United needed just two second-half minutes to edge in front, and again Nani was the creator. Everton cleared the danger from his initial corner but the ball found its way back out to the Portuguese international and his return delivery was pinpoint. Vidic, the grateful recipient, was left with a simple task to head himself on to the scoresheet from six yards.

There were more heroics from Howard as he kept out Nani on 64 minutes, but there was little he could do when Berbatov extended United's lead moments later. 

Reacting to a lofted pass from Scholes, the Bulgarian took the ball away from Sylvain Distin before producing an exquisite finish with the outside of his right boot from the edge of the box.

Moyes' response was to throw Seamus Coleman and Yakubu into the fray. The latter announced his arrival by putting Osman in on goal, but the midfielder failed to set his feet and his shot was too weak to trouble Van der Sar. 

The missed opportunity seemed to have signalled the end of Everton's hopes. What ultimately materalised was a point which felt like a win. 



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