Wayne Rooney disappoints in Everton's defeat to Manchester United

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Rooney was left chasing shadows for a large part of the game.

Manchester United came up against their record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, as they visited Everton on New Year’s Day.

Rooney, now Toffees captain, rejoined his boyhood club last summer.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how Rooney performed.

GOAL THREAT

Playing in a deep role, Rooney was not really a threat in front of goal. He did try his luck with a long-range shot in the fourth minute but that was deflected for a corner. Beyond that, Rooney did not look like scoring.

RUNS

Some of Rooney’s most notable runs were made for defensive reasons.

Never shy to get stuck in, the Everton skipper often back-tracked to try to break up Everton attacks.

He did so very effectively once in the first half as United probed outside the area, but other efforts were not successful.

He was booked for a poor challenge on Anthony Martial and later gave the ball away prior to the visitors taking the lead.

SET-PIECES

Rooney took responsibility for most of Everton’s set-pieces but had no joy.

An early cross into the box from a free-kick was particularly wasteful while his corners, mostly taken from in front of the United fans, were easily dealt with.

LINK-UP PLAY

In terms of vision and awareness, Rooney could not be faulted. He spotted runs of team-mates and looked to pick them out while also creating gaps.

Unfortunately for him, the execution was not there and many of his passes were misplaced.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Rooney was his usual hard-working self but this was not one of his better outings.

United handled their former star player comfortably and he could not stretch them.

One of his errors led to a United goal and, with the visitors getting on top in midfield, it was understandable that manager Sam Allardyce withdrew him just after the hour.

Rooney was eventually replaced by Sam Allardyce,

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Analysis of Anthony Martial's performance during Man United's win over Everton

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Manchester United put a smile back on Jose Mourinho’s face as fine goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard sealed a 2-0 win over Everton.

Martial started in the absence of the injured Romelu Lukaku and the United forward broke the deadlock in the 57th minute at Goodison Park.

Paul Pogba teed up Martial on the edge of the area and he stroked a sublime finish into the top corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Having struggled towards the end of 2017, United were more commanding in their first match of the new year and Lingard wrapped up the points with a superb solo strike in the 81st minute.

Here, we focus on Martial’s performance.

BASIC STATS

Minutes – 77

Goals – 1

Assists – 0

Shots – 2 (1)

Dribbles – 0

Passes – 26

Key passes – 2

Pass Accuracy – 80.8%

Touches – 44

EFFECTIVENESS

The striker capped off a mixed performance with an outstanding second half goal.

He looked off colour in the first half, failing to hold the ball up and instead trying to do it all himself rather than take the simple option of passing to a teammate.

Although he has the physicality to take on a strong centre back, the Frenchman is not a striker, and needs to be played on the left with Marcus Rashford up top in the absence of Romelu Lukaku.

With seven goals and three assists in 11 Premier League games this term, the elusive Martial warrants a place in Jose Mourinho’s starting team but needs to be employed in a left wing role.

KEY MOMENTS

29th min: Some loose defending from the hosts allowed space to open up down the left, and Martial collected possession and flashed the ball across the face of the goal, but Jordan Pickford reacted quickest to palm away.

55th min: A beauty of a goal. Paul Pogba raced down the left, drew in a defender and played the ball across to Martial on the edge of the box. The Frenchman took one touch and curled a sumptuous effort into the top corner.

65th min: He came bounding down the left, cut in and tries to find Pogba at the far post, but the skipper is inches from getting his head to it.

OUR VERDICT

He didn’t receive great service in the first half but showed signs of his class after netting a goal midway through the second period.

He played too deep and held the ball for too long – something the 22-year-old can’t afford to do against bigger opposition.

Overall, good signs from the Frenchman but he really needs to step up over the coming weeks to prove his worth to Mourinho – who doesn’t seem to like to play him regularly in his starting XI.

7/10

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Jurgen Klopp backs Virgil van Dijk to boost Liverpool defence

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Van Dijk is yet to appear in Liverpool's shirt.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the arrival of £75million defender Virgil van Dijk will help “a lot” after watching his side almost throw away two points at Burnley.

Leading through Sadio Mane‘s brilliant second-half strike, the Reds conceded an 87th-minute equaliser when substitute Sam Vokes flicked on a cross for Johann Berg Gudmundsson to nod in unmarked from three yards.

However, Ragnar Klavan – one of the playsers most under threat after Van Dijk’s arrival was officially confirmed on Monday – was the unlikely match-winner when he popped up at the far post to nod in from close range.

“I was never in doubt about the character of my boys,” said Klopp.

“I never thought we had a defence problem or thought we need an extra player though Virgil will help us a lot.

“We are fourth in the table, absolutely OK. We need to keep the distance not bigger to the teams ahead of us, if we can make it smaller then it is better.”

With three of Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ absent – top scorer Mohamed Salah (groin) and Philippe Coutinho (groin) injured and Roberto Firmino rested – more responsibility was placed on Mane and he delivered.

It was only his second league goal since August but despite injury worries over two of his star players Klopp is happy to allow the Senegal international – and Salah – to fly Ghana for the Confederation of African football Player of the Year awards on Thursday, 24 hours before a Merseyside derby FA Cup tie at home to Everton.

“We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad,” added Klopp.

Klavan's injury-time header gave Liverpool a 2-1 victory over Burnley.

“We have to show them respect. If it had been a matchday they wouldn’t have asked. We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference.

“If Mo is not fit, it will not be for that. For our side, it is just a sign of respect. I had (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang (at Borussia Dortmund) and there is nothing more important than to go there.

“Sadio is unbelievably important for us. He is strong, quick, so many things. He scores a goal like this and it is like ‘Wow’.

“He comes into the dressing room and the whole team gives him a hand. We need him, we need him so much for all teams coming.

“I am happy because I had a lot of players with moments where it wasn’t clicking and he still scores.”

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