Everton 0 Manchester United 3: Was Garnacho’s high shot the best in the Premier League?

Alejandro Garnacho’s impressive kick helped Manchester United maintain their status as an in-form Premier League team with victory over Everton at a struggling Goodison Park.

Everton fans staged protests against the club’s 10-point deduction before and during the match, holding signs reading “corrupt” before kick-off and in the 10th minute.

After being stunned by Garnacho’s acrobatic first goal, Everton assumed the biggest attacking threat but lost 2-0 when Ashley Young fouled Anthony Martial in the area (VAR Chris Kavanagh prompted referee John Brooks to review his decision to caution the United striker for a dive). and Marcus Rashford (not Bruno Fernandes) converted the penalty.

Martial scored his ninth goal against Everton, United’s third of the match, securing their first Premier League win of the season by more than one goal. They have now won five of their last six games and the 15 points achieved are more than any other team during this period.

Meanwhile, Everton are second to bottom with four points.

Here The AthleticLaurie Whitwell and Sebastian Stafford-Bloor analyze the match.

Was Garnacho’s shot the best the Premier League has seen?

Sitting high in the commentary box at Goodison Park, Gary Neville knew he was sparking a debate by hailing Garnacho’s acrobatic strike as the best of its kind he had seen. Even better than Wayne Rooney’s, he insisted. That Rooney goal It needs no further description for people to know the moment in question, a sign of its unique quality. But instinctively it seems that Garnacho will obtain the same prestige.

In terms of technique, both are similar, with the player shuffling his feet backwards and turning his body at an angle to connect with the ball, but Garnacho’s was a cleaner hit, and Rooney’s came from his shin. There was a little of this with the Garnacho, but some boot as well. Garnacho also had less time to react, with Diogo Dalot’s cross fired faster than Nani’s, which he deflected.

Perhaps this is a separate argument, but it could be said that preparation also gives Garnacho an extra advantage. Victor Lindelof’s pass to Marcus Rashford to start the play was sublime.

Wonderful kick of Garnacho (Getty Images)

Rooney had a broader context, winning a Manchester derby in a season in which United lifted the Premier League title. But the Garnacho thing was also important: what the hyped Everton started in a game that Erik ten Hag’s team needed to win to stay close to the Champions League places.

Ten Hag had a good view of the goal, serving his touchline penalty watching from the directors’ box between manager Darren Fletcher, who played in that Rooney game in 2011, and new interim chief executive Patrick Stewart.

As for all the other contenders for the best overhead kick the Premier League has ever seen, Sebastien Haller’s (vs Crystal Palace) in 2020, Dimitar Berbatov’s (vs Liverpool) in 2010, Christian Benteke’s (vs Manchester United) in 2015, Andy Carroll’s (vs Palace) in 2017, Emre Can’s (vs Watford) in 2017 are worthy of mention. But the Garnacho one had a special mix of power, distance and speed.

Laura Whitwell

How did Mainoo do in his first Premier League start?

If pre-season had been different, Kobbie Mainoo would have already started a Premier League match. He started against Arsenal in New Jersey and was excellent, then again in the friendly against Real Madrid in Houston, a sign of how much Ten Hag appreciates the 18-year-old. But a knee injury suffered in that July game kept Mainoo out until recently.

Selecting Mainoo at the feverish Goodison Park was a statement by Ten Hag about the midfielder’s qualities and his composure clearly stood out. As a schoolboy, Mainoo was a star of the United team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2022, but this was another level. Despite the hectic nature of the match, he never rushed, not even when he received the ball in deep positions from André Onana. He looked to turn and play forward as well, rather than passing backwards.

He sensed the danger wisely, sliding to put away an assured goal from Idrissa Gana Gueye as Dwight McNeill’s shot rolled onto the line, and flying to block a McNeill shot soon after as Everton increased the pressure.

Mainoo was also effectively higher up, at one point collecting the ball from Dalot in space and entering the area after exchanging passes with Marcus Rashford.

When Mainoo was substituted in the 72nd minute, he received congratulations from Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay, and Ten Hag will now hope to have a mobile player for that number 6 position.

Mainoo clears the ball from the line (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Laura Whitwell

How did Everton respond on the pitch to their 10-point penalty?

The tone of Everton’s response was what everyone knew it would be. The crowd was angry and partisan. Posters denouncing the Premier League’s decision decorated the stands and fireworks crackled in the sky above Goodison Park. The tenor of the day turned this into a soccer match played within a protest.

On the pitch, the players were also animated. Garnacho’s fabulous goal may have been good enough to sap the day’s oxygen, but Everton quickly rebuilt afterwards, to the point that United spent the rest of the half barely clinging to their lead. They failed to move, or even retain, possession in any meaningful way during the first half, resorting to long, direct outlets that invited Everton to come back at them.

Referee Brooks reviews the VAR screen (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

And that should have been expensive. There was heart in Everton’s football, but also imagination, and they created enough chances to at least be level at half-time, perhaps even ahead. The VAR review that led to Manchester United’s penalty dampened some of the faith among Sean Dyche’s players in the second half, understandably, but Goodison continued to seethe and bubble long after the points were lost.

Sebastian Stafford Bloor

What did Ten Hag, Dyche and Garnacho say?

Erik ten Hag: “The start of the game, very good. A very good team goal, the ending was incredible, world class. It’s probably already the goal of the season. Magnificent moment.

“Then we became passive and Everton came into the game. At half-time we corrected it and we were very good. “We were proactive, we took the initiative and scored great goals.”

Grenache, who was named man of the match by Sky Sports, said: “I can’t believe it to be honest. I didn’t see how he got in. I just listened around me. I said, ‘Oh my God.’ For me, (it is) one of the best goals I have scored. Yes, probably (one of the goals of the season), but it’s only November.”

Sean Dyche: “They started the game with a world cup that put us on the defensive. We played well in the first half and had good chances, so I was satisfied at half-time.

“Then they get a penalty early on and VAR becomes very complex. I feel sorry for the fans and the referee stars on the screen and we know the result.

“The way the modern game is says it’s a penalty. But we see it all the time and that’s what the game has become now.”

What’s next for Everton?

Saturday December 2: Nottingham Forest (A), Premier League 5:30 pm GMT, 12:30 pm ET

What’s next for Manchester United?

Wednesday, November 29: Galatasaray (A), Champions League, 5:45 p.m. GMT, 12:45 p.m. ET

United travel to Turkey desperate to get three points to get their Champions League campaign back on track. A defeat could leave them eliminated from the competition.

Saturday December 2: Newcastle (A), Premier League, 8 pm GMT, 3 pm ET

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(Top photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)