20 For 20: Comeback Stuns United
Blues rally to mortally wound Red Devils' title bid.
Manchester United 4-4 EVERTON, 22 Apr 2012
Jelavic 33, 83, Fellaini 66, Pienaar 85
Everton’s stunning second-half comeback put a dent in Manchester United’s title bid as both teams left Old Trafford with four goals and a point apiece to show for their part in a magnificent game of football.
The goals flowed at either end on an afternoon of high drama, ballsy attacking and woeful defending.
Nikica Jelavic’s header rewarded Everton for their first-half industry before Wayne Rooney shook off Phil Neville to head a leveller.
Danny Welbeck’s spectacular goal and Nani’s cute finish had seemingly wrapped up the points for the hosts – but nobody had told the Blues.
The hugely impressive Marouane Fellaini’s spectacular volley cut the deficit to 3-2 but Rooney’s second arrived to sooth the hosts’ ragged nerves.
Yet every time Everton attacked in numbers they looked likely to score and, in the end, their bottle was rewarded with a point from an exhilarating game.
First Jelavic completed his brace with a brutal swipe of the right boot and then Steven Pienaar snaked in behind the United defence to convert Fellaini’s throughball, cap a fine, flowing team move and spark wild celebrations in the away end.
For a full match report, click here.
Valencia (Hernandez 89)
Scholes (Jones 86)
Distin (Cahill 84)
Osman (McFadden 63)
"We are criticised often because we can’t beat [Manchester United] here. But not many do. It is a difficult place to come and we had a real go at them. I thought we were brilliant today." - David Moyes
"We're very happy because when United are winning 3-1 it's difficult to come back. [At that point] you would never believe Everton could fight to try and win the game. We had to keep going, work hard, and it was a good game for us." - Marouane Fellaini
"You try and put the ball in the right area. You can try and pick people out or you can put it in dangerous areas. That's what I did and we have two big lads in Niki and Felli who can get on the end of it." - Tony Hibbert on his two assists
"The Everton game was the killer for us. It was an absolutely ridiculous performance in the last 10 minutes of the match. Just absolute carelessness. If we lose the league, we'll have to accept it's the Everton game that did it." – Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
- Despite calls for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled following the death of an anti-government protester, the race is staged and won by world champion Sebastian Vettel.
- Thousands of people converge on the city of Bergamo for the funeral of Livorno footballer Piermario Morosini, who collapsed and died on the pitch aged just 25.
- Thirteen-year-old Guan Tian-lang of China becomes the youngest player to compete on the PGA European Tour when he shoots a five-over par 77 at the Volvo China Open.
- Kenyan Wilson Kipsang wins the London Marathon in a time of two hours, four minutes and 44 seconds.
- Everton went undefeated for the final four games of the season to earn seventh-spot and finish above neighbours Liverpool for the first time since 2005.
- The Blues thrashed Fulham 4-0, drew with Stoke and Wolves, and then defeated Newcastle 3-1 at Goodison Park on the final day, ending the Magpies’ Champions League aspirations in the process.
- A dramatic climax saw Manchester United throw away an eight-point lead and concede the title to bitter rivals Manchester City on the final day. United thought they had the title sewn up with Roberto Mancini’s men trailing 2-1 at QPR, but injury-time goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero turned the game on its head and ensured the most dramatic finale to a campaign in Premier League history.
This game was voted third in our 2012 poll of Everton's greatest Premier League games. To view the complete run down, click here.