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 United 2 Everton 1

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Posts : 4
Join date : 2007-12-12

PostSubject: United 2 Everton 1   Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:39 pm

Cristiano Ronaldo kept his nerve to nudge United within a point of leaders Arsenal when he stepped up to score a late winner from the penalty spot.

It was Ronaldo's sixteenth goal of the season and his second of the game, having fired the Reds in front midway through the first half when he cut inside to unleash a left-foot rocket past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The in-form visitors drew level just five minutes after Ronaldo's opener as Tim Cahill firmly headed home Steven Pienaar's left-wing cross, only for the South African to needlessly foul Ryan Giggs with two minutes remaining and give Ronaldo the chance to seal victory.

The result was deserved and hard-fought for a United side bereft of Edwin van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves through injury.

They were replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak, Danny Simpson and Michael Carrick respectively, with Wes Brown moving into the centre of defence and Simpson occupying the right-back berth.

Despite the enforced reshuffle, it was United who settled quicker in a fraught opening. Although the Reds were applying plenty of pressure, the main story of the opening 15 minutes was referee Howard Webb's decision to dish out four bookings.

Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra entered Webb's notebook for clumsy fouls, while Cahill and Tony Hibbert were both cautioned within a minute for the visitors.

Carlos Tevez then saw a shot deflected wide before Ronaldo opened the scoring with a scorching effort after 22 minutes. The Portuguese winger collected a crossfield pass from Tevez, cut inside and duly thumped a 25-yard shot past the motionless Howard and into the top corner.

It was the sixth successive home game in which Ronaldo had struck for the Reds, but the visitors were level almost immediately. Pienaar was allowed time to pick a cross from the left-wing and Cahill sprung superbly between Evra and Nemanja Vidic to plant a header past Kuszczak.

The Australian's equaliser sparked United into life, and the Reds could easily have gone into the interval ahead. First Joleon Lescott had to be alert to head Rooney's clever chip off his own goal line with Howard well beaten, then Ronaldo volleyed just over after a slick interchange with Giggs.

John O'Shea replaced Simpson at half-time as the Reds continued to make the better chances. Howard, in his first appearance against United since leaving Old Trafford, had to be on his toes to save well from Anderson and Tevez.

Carrick was replaced by Saha as Sir Alex Ferguson chased a winning start to the hectic Christmas period, but Everton's defensive resolve looked set to win the visitors an unfancied point.

When Rooney's shot from the edge of the area clipped the roof of the net, it seemed a draw was inevitable. With two minutes remaining, however, a winding run from the excellent Giggs saw him foolishly upended by Pienaar inside the box.

Referee Webb had no choice but to point to the spot and, after a lengthy,nervy delay, the coollest head inside Old Trafford promptly hammered a shot home, sending Howard the wrong way and keeping United within touching distance of the top.

United: Kuszczak, Simpson (O'Shea, 45), Brown, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Carrick (Saha, 71), Anderson (Fletcher, 86), Giggs; Rooney, Tevez. Subs not used: Heaton, Nani.

Bookings: Rooney, Evra, Anderson.

Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott; Carsley, Cahill (Anichebe, 85), P Neville, Pienaar; Yakubu (Gravesen, 76), Johnson. Subs not used: Wessels, McFadden, Nuno Valente.

Bookings: Cahill, Hibbert, Pienaar.

Very Happy cheers lol! -->jangan mara haaa...
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