Late Ibrahimovic penalty rescues a point for frustrated United

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Barclays Premier League

Manchester United 1-1 Everton

Ibrahimovic 90+4 pen   Jagielka 22

Williams s/o

Zlatan Ibrahimovic rescued a point for Manchester United last night against Ronald Koeman’s Everton. The Swedish veteran converted a penalty in what was the last kick of the game, after Ashley Williams was sent off for a hand ball. Phil Jagielka had previously opened the scoring for the visitors in the 22nd minute, slotting home from close range on the end of a corner.

Manchester United started the game really well, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming close five minutes in. The striker broke through the defence to be one-on-one with the keeper and his shot was pushed away by Joel.

Jose Mourinho’s side played a good passing game early in the first half, and they strung many passes together before Jesse Lingard’s shot went just wide of the goal in the 12th minute.

Four minutes later the hosts came close again, with Ibrahimovic playing a good ball through to Rashford. The youngster’s shot went just wide of the mark, but had he scored it wouldn’t have counted as he was offside.

Everton had their first chance of the game in the 21st minute after some good counter-attacking football. Gareth Barry played a good aerial ball to Mirallas, who was unmarked, and the Belgian’s shot from close range was saved by De Gea to his right. The corner was poorly defended by the home side, and Koeman’s side took the lead as captain Phil Jagielka got a slight touch of the ball on its way in.

The away side then grew into the game, and Romelu Lukaku looked particularly threatening. He was on the receiving end of a good ball just five minutes after the opening goal, and his shot went just wide of the mark.

Manchester United did come very close to getting back into the game in the 31st minute however. Daley Blind took a brilliant free kick, forcing Joel into a brilliant save to his right before Herrera’s rebound went over.

United looked shaky at the back, and Lukaku got through the defence quite easily in the 39th minute only for his shot to be blocked by Young. Everton led 1-0 at half time.

Jose Mourinho decided to bring Paul Pogba on at half time in place of Daley Blind, and the £89 million man made a quick impact on the game – heading onto the crossbar ten minutes into the second half.

Marouane Fellaini came close for United on two occasions soon after one another, shooting just wide from close range in the 62nd minute and then having a header saved by Joel to his left two minutes later.

United continued to dominate proceedings at Old Trafford, and they thought they had an equaliser in the 72nd minute. Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home on the end of a great ball from Ander Herrera but the goal was ruled out for offside – although TV replays suggest that the Swedish star wasn’t offside.

Five minutes later Mourinho’s side came close again, with Marcos Rojo heading just over the bar on the end of a great ball by Paul Pogba.

Everton were fairly resolute at the back, having brought on an extra defender in Matthew Pennington in the 67th minute – and they also looked threatening on the counter attack. In the 79th minute, Romelu Lukaku came fairly close but his attempt was prevented thanks to an outstanding last ditch block from Eric Bailly.

Everton continued to frustrate Manchester United at the back, and it looked like they were on their way to winning the game when Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed over on the end of a great ball from Rashford in the 89th minute. However, their work was undone in the last minute of added time. Luke Shaw’s powerful shot from the edge of the box was blocked by the hand of Ashley Williams. Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot, and sent off Ashley Williams for the hand ball.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic stepped up and beat Joel with a well-composed penalty down the right-hand side to secure a point for the Red Devils.

The result means that Jose Mourinho’s side remain in fifth, with Arsenal able to overtake them if they beat West Ham United tonight. Up next for United is Sunderland away from home on Saturday. Everton remain comfortably in seventh, with a thirteen point gap between them and West Brom. They face Leicester City next at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Manchester United: De Gea 6, Young 6 (Shaw 65), Bailly 8, Rojo 6, Blind 6 (Pogba 45), Carrick(c) 7 (Mkhitaryan 65), Herrera 7, Lingard 7, Fellaini 5, Rashford 7, Ibrahimovic 7.

Booked: Young

Sub ratings: Pogba 7, Shaw 8, Mkhitaryan 6.

Subs not used: Martial, Romero (GK), Fosu-Mensah, Darmian.

Everton: Joel 8, Holgate 7, Williams 7, Jagielka(c) 7, Baines 7, Gueye 7, Barry 7, Mirallas 7 (Pennington 67), Barkley 7 (Calvert-Lewin 80), Davies 7, Lukaku 8.

Booked: Joel, Gueye, Barry, Davies.

Sent off: Williams

Sub ratings: Pennington 7, Calvert-Lewin 7.

Subs not used: E Valencia, Stekelenburg (GK), Lookman, Kenny, Williams.

Attendance: 75,272

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United come from behind to beat Boro with two late goals

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Barclays Premier League

Manchester United 2-1 Middlesbrough

Martial 85                          Leadbitter 67

Pogba 86

Manchester United came from behind to beat Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve in the Premier League. Captain Grant Leadbitter put the underdogs in front in the 67th minute, before the home side scored two goals in the space of a minute from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba to snatch a deserved victory.

Middlesbrough started the game well and should’ve really taken the lead early on. Adama Traore made a good run on the right-hand side and got through the defence quite easily but could only shoot wide.

United dominated play for the vast majority of the first half but didn’t take their chances. Paul Pogba ambitiously attempted an overhead kick on the end of Valencia’s 14th minute cross, and the £89million midfielder failed to connect with it.

Whilst the ball was in Middlesbrough’s half for the vast majority of the game, the away side made good use of the ball when they had it in United’s half. Adama Traore got past Blind with ease and he beat De Gea with his cross,finding Friend, but the left-back’s shot was blocked by Antonio Valencia in the 18th minute.

United’s best chance of the half so far came from Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian midfielder headed onto the top netting after an immaculate cross from Anthony Martial on the left hand side in the 32nd minute.

Martial found himself in the action again six minutes later, trying his luck from long range- forcing Victor Valdes into a great save to his left.

Moments later, Valdes was at the centre of a controversy. Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home from a good cross from the left to supposedly put Mourinho’s side in front, but then the goal was disallowed due to a foul on the Middlesbrough keeper. The former Barcelona man was booed by United fans for the rest of the game as he didn’t appear to be fouled, yet he was rolling around on the floor.

It was goalless at half time.

In the second half, Manchester United had many chances- and you could sense that a goal for the home side was imminent. Ibrahimovic found himself clean through on goal but had his shot blocked by Valdes in the 50th minute, whilst Pogba attempted another overhead soon after and Mkhitaryan had a massive chance going just wide but he was offside anyway.

Surprisingly however, it was the away side that took the lead following a lapse of concentration from the United defence. Alvaro Negredo laid the ball off to Grant Leadbitter, who made a good run on the right, and the Boro captain smashed the ball in the left-hand corner much to the surprise of De Gea, who had hardly anything to do all game.

Marcus Rashford was brought on by Mourinho in the 72nd minute, and he proved to be a very effective substitute. A minute after coming on, the 19 year old made a great run on the left hand side and his shot across goal went just wide.

United continued to pile the pressure on Boro, who by now had reverted to a 5-4-1 formation, and Martial found himself through on goal in the 81st minute with Valdes keeping the away side in front with a brilliant last-ditch save.

Four minutes later, United got what they deserved. Anthony Martial scored the equaliser for Mourinho’s side with a shot from close range going into the top right corner.

This drove some momentum amongst the home support, spurring the Red Devils to a winner just moments after their first goal. Paul Pogba headed home for United following a fantastic ball in from the right, sending the fans into jubilation.

Middlesbrough didn’t really ever look like scoring an equaliser- even with four minutes added. Their only attempt came from Adam Forshaw- and it was very ambitious being quite far out and consequently not troubling David De Gea at all.

United’s win mean that they remain unbeaten since October and sit in sixth position going into 2017. Up next for Mourinho’s side is West Ham away on Monday. Middlesbrough on the other hand now sit in 16th position, and face champions Leicester at home on Monday.

Manchester United: de Gea 7, Valencia 8, Bailly 7 , Smalling 6(c) (Rashford 72), Blind 5(Rojo 64), Mkhitaryan 8, Pogba 8, Herrera 7, Fellaini 7 (Mata 64), Ibrahmovic 7, Martial 9.

Booked: Blind

Sub ratings: Rojo 6, Mata 7, Rashford 8

Subs not used: Romero (GK), Jones, Rojo, Lingard.

Middlesbrough: Valdes 8, Chambers 7, Espinosa 7, Gibson 7,  Friend 6, Forshaw 8, de Roon 6, Leadbitter 7 (c) (Clayton 78), Downing 4 (Ramirez 63), Traore 8 (Fabio 82), Negredo 7.

Booked: Chambers

Sub ratings: Clayton 6, Ramirez 6, Fabio 6

Subs not used: Ayala, Rhodes, Guzan (GK), Stuani.

Attendance: 75,314