Hernandez heads United six clear

Javier Hernandez gave Manchester United a late 1-0 win over Everton that moved the Red Devils six points clear at the Premier League summit.

Last Updated: 23/04/11 at 20:23 Post Comment

Hernandez: Scores the winner late on

Hernandez: Scores the winner late on

The Mexican had come closer than any other United player to breaking the stubborn resistance of an Everton side who could have had a couple of penalties and for whom goalkeeper Tim Howard was outstanding.

But additional heroic performances from Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin counted for nothing as Hernandez rose to meet Antonio Valencia's far-post cross.

The striker powered in his 19th goal of a sensational debut campaign to send United into the Champions League semi-final with Schalke in winning mood and knowing if they can avoid defeat to Arsenal and Chelsea in their next two league games, they will surely knock Liverpool off the perch they have occupied for so long.

Faced with a familiar selection poser, knowing the following four games, starting with the first leg of that Champions League semi-final against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, would shape his side's season, Sir Alex Ferguson came up with a typical mixture of solid and experimental.

Jonny Evans was fortunate referee Peter Walton did not view his tackle on Jermaine Beckford as a foul midway through the opening period and Darron Gibson's normally reliable long-range shooting was way off beam.

However, back in the dug-out after completing his five-match touchline ban, Ferguson could be reasonably pleased with his side's first-half efforts, save for the fact they did not actually score.

The time when picking Hernandez was viewed as a gamble has long since passed and predictably, the fast-moving Mexican was the hosts' biggest threat.

In Howard though, Hernandez was faced with a goalkeeper who has special reason to do well at this venue given he enjoyed three seasons with the Red Devils until joining the Goodison Park outfit, initially on loan, in 2006.

Ferguson's concern about the American had more to do with his concentration levels than any problems with ability.

And Howard proved his worth after 25 minutes when Hernandez was sent sprinting through by Anderson's slide-rule pass and let fly from an acute angle.

Howard plunged to his right to make an excellent save by his near post.

The American's next effort was even better as he beat away another Hernandez effort after the striker had been set up by Valencia and Wayne Rooney.

Hernandez then did Howard's job for him eight minutes from half-time.

Valencia's superior strength allowed him to shove Leighton Baines off the ball and roll a pass back to Nani, who had already wasted one early opportunity by taking too long to decide what to do.

This time, Nani went for goal straight away. He would surely have found it too had the ball not struck Hernandez, who had slipped as he made his way in the penalty area, and deflected harmlessly away.

There could barely be any discussion about who was on top.

Everton manager David Moyes could take pride in his team's battling qualities, which were exemplified by the stoic defending of Jagielka and Distin, who managed to get in the way of an Hernandez cross that was about to give Fabio a tap-in.

Moyes had even more reason to admire the manner his side started the second period as United failed to rouse themselves.

The introduction of Tim Cahill helped and how Rio Ferdinand got away with shoving second substitute Victor Anichebe over when the Everton man had outpaced him in a race towards the United goal was difficult to fathom.

Everton's luck was also out midway through the half when Jack Rodwell let fly from the edge of the area with a shot that took a deflection off Evans and was heading for the bottom corner until Edwin van der Sar got the slightest touch.

The fluidity had disappeared from United's play, so they dug into their reserves of self-belief.

Distin turned a Fabio cross onto his own post before the introduction of Ryan Giggs, then Anderson got no power at all into a 10-yard shot after being offered a decent sight of goal.

The hosts' momentum gathered pace. Rooney's free-kick tipped over by Howard. Valencia's thunderbolt cannoning into Jagielka. Another brilliant Howard save to deny Hernandez.

Could Everton hold out when so many others had failed? Hernandez ensured the answer was rather predictable.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Monday, 21 April 2014
20:00
Man City 3-1 West Brom Report
Sunday, 20 April 2014
16:10
Everton 2-0 Man Utd Report
14:05
Hull City 0-3 Arsenal Report
12:00
Norwich 2-3 Liverpool Report
Saturday, 19 April 2014
17:30
Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland Report
15:00
A Villa 0-0 Southampton Report
Cardiff 1-1 Stoke City  
Newcastle 1-2 Swansea Report
West Ham 0-1 C Palace Report
12:45
Tottenham 3-1 Fulham Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 35 52 80
2 Chelsea 35 41 75
3 Man City 34 56 74
4 Arsenal 35 21 70
5 Everton 35 23 69
6 Tottenham 35 2 63
7 Man Utd 34 16 57
8 Southampton 35 5 49
9 Newcastle 35 -15 46
10 Stoke City 35 -10 44
11 C Palace 35 -13 43
12 West Ham 35 -10 37
13 Swansea 35 -4 36
14 Hull City 34 -9 36
15 A Villa 34 -14 35
16 West Brom 34 -13 33
17 Norwich 35 -28 32
18 Cardiff 35 -34 30
19 Fulham 35 -42 30
20 Sunderland 34 -24 29

Updated Wed, 23 Apr 2014

Footer 365

Europa League: Lima's late winner gives Benfica 2-1 victory in semi-final first-leg

Substitute Lima struck late to help Benfica to a 2-1 victory over Juventus in their Europa League semi-final first-leg.

Nicky Butt proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary boss Ryan Giggs

Nicky Butt says he is immensely proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary manager Ryan Giggs.

Europa League: Sevilla secure first leg lead in all-Spanish clash with Valencia

Sevilla toppled La Liga rivals Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final to claim a 2-0 advantage.

Mail Box

Guardiola Is No Better Than Moyes...

At least he wasn't in Bayern's defeat to Real Madrid, says one chap in the mailbox. Plus, more excitement over Van Gaal at Man United and thoughts on FFP...

Man United Fans Excited By Van Gaal Talk

Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property