MANCHESTER UNITED 2 EVERTON 1
MANCHESTER United boss Louis van Gaal insists his side must ditch their sub-standard second-half performances if they have designs on maintaining their Premier League revival after edging past Everton at Old Trafford yesterday.
United hitman Radamel Falcao scored his maiden Premier League goal to clinch United’s first back-to-back victories under Van Gaal after Steven Naismith had cancelled out Angel di Maria’s opener following a missed penalty from the usually reliable Leighton Baines.
“It is now our second game that we are not good in the second half,” said Van Gaal. “We didn’t keep our organisation against West Ham last week and we didn’t do it this week.
“I have changed to improve the organisation but despite that it was not like that. We have to improve because the first-half was very good.”
Record £60m signing Di Maria opened the scoring in the 27th minute, curling into the bottom corner after being picked out by Juan Mata before Spanish keeper David de Gea repelled Baines’ penalty – his first missed Premier League spot-kick in 15 attempts.
Naismith headed home unmarked in the six-yard box ten minutes after the restart although Everton’s joy was short-lived as Falcao guided a long-range Di Maria effort past ex-United stopper Tim Howard.
De Gea produced impressive late saves from Leon Osman and Bryan Oviedo while Everton defender John Stones was stretchered off with an ankle injury and was later replaced in the England squad by Arsenal’s Calum Chambers.