Manchester United failed to return to winning ways in the Premier League after being held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the bold decision to leave both Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho on the bench, instead giving a chance to Anthony Martial alongside Edinson Cavani.
Both sides flexed their muscles and created chances in the first half – Martial and Cavani both good opportunities with headers, while Demarai Gray forced David de Gea into action. But Solskjaer was rewarded for his selection when Martial scored the opener shortly before half-time.
Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes had also impressed in the first half, but Everton’s threat on the counter attack was ultimately the undoing of the hosts.
Andros Townsend, Demarai Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure, just as they have been all season, were excellent at breaking. It was Gray’s burst, twice winning possession from a weak Fred in quick succession, Doucoure’s vision and Townsend’s finish that secured Everton their equaliser.
Solskjaer had already turned to Ronaldo and Sancho by that point, opting to also bring Pogba on once the scores had been levelled. But there was no breakthrough – Sancho fired a tame shot straight at Jordan Pickford in United’s best chance to re-take the lead.
Everton could even have won it late on. Substitute Tom Davies was in acres of space and fed Yerry Mina for a tap-in, only for the Colombian to have strayed marginally offside.
Man Utd player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
David de Gea (GK) - 6/10 - Saved well from Gray in the first half, although might think the Everton equaliser was also saveable.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) - 6/10 - Decent but far from outstanding.
Victor Lindelof (CB) - 6/10 - Made interventions on the cover.
Raphael Varane (CB) - 6/10 - Snuffed out one particularly dangerous attack in the first half when Rondon had a clear chance.
Luke Shaw (LB) - 6/10 - Back in the side after injury, did ok.
Scott McTominay (CM) - 6/10 - United looked more dangerous when he ran ahead to support the attack.
Fred (CM) - 4/10 - Lost two 50/50 challenges in the immediate build up to the Everton equaliser. That alone made his afternoon poor.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) - 7/10 - Played a crucial link role and had the vision to turn and feed Martial for his first domestic assist of the season.
Mason Greenwood (RF) - 7/10 - At the heart of everything that was good about United in the first half and his incisive pre-assist pass created the opening goal. Faded later on.
Edinson Cavani (ST) - 6/10 - Gave United a target in the penalty area and forced a good save from Pickford in the first half.
Anthony Martial (LF) - 7/10 - Should have done better with an early headed chance but finished with aplomb shortly before half-time. Looked brighter after his goal but was then forced off with a knock.
Jadon Sancho (LF) - 7/10 - Probably the best he has played since joining but saw a late chance go begging with a weak shot.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) - 6/10 - A rare substitute appearance, looked determined to make something happen.
Paul Pogba (CM) - 7/10 - Tasked with making a difference at 1-1 and was heavily involved in creating chances.
Everton player ratings
5. Goalkeeper & defenders
Jordan Pickford (GK) - 6/10 - Arguably not as busy as he might have expected.
Ben Godfrey (RB) - 7/10 - Did a good job on the right.
Yerry Mina (CB) - 6/10 - Almost won the game for Everton with a late goal but got ahead of himself and strayed offside.
Michael Keane (CB) - 6/10 - It wasn't always clear if he knew where Cavani was in the first half. Improved as the game went on.
Lucas Digne (LB) - 6/10 - Struggled to contain Greenwood in the first half.
Andros Townsend (RM) - 8/10 - Disciplined performance head back towards his own goal as much as he was a threat on the counter.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) - 8/10 - Typical box-to-box performance from the Frenchman. Set up the equaliser on the counter attack.
Allan (CM) - 7/10 - Patrolled in front of the back four and offered invaluable protection.
Anthony Gordon (LM) - 6/10 - Impressed in what could have been a very daunting set of circumstances.
Demarai Gray (SS) - 8/10 - Carried the ball well, particularly on the counter attack, and was Everton's most consistent threat. The equalising goal came from precisely that.
Salomon Rondon (ST) - 5/10 - Lacked conviction when he was put through in the first half and is clearly still not up to full match sharpness.
Tom Davies (CM) - 6/10 - Slotted into the midfield well, but should have shot instead of squaring the ball to Mina.
Lewis Dobbin (ST) - N/A
Source : 90min