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5 talking points as Everton grab deserved point in Man Utd stalemate

Man Utd were pegged back by an impressive Everton side at Old Trafford as Andros Townsend’s second-half strike cancelled out Anthony Martial’s opener

Manchester United v Everton: Match in pictures

Everton came from behind to secure a much deserved point at Old Trafford as Manchester United once again underwhelmed.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench despite his midweek heroics.

The Portuguese star was unable to repeat the feat as he emerged from the bench and the Toffees proved that they could be here for the long haul.

Under Rafa Benitez they have begun the season impressively and remain on the same points as United following the lunchtime stalemate.

Anthony Martial’s opener came against the run of play but and allowed the hosts to go in ahead at the break.

Everton though, inspired by the influential Demarai Gray, levelled the contest with 25 minutes remaining as Andros Townsend scored at Old Trafford for the second straight year.

Yerry Mina thought he’d grabbed a late winner when he tapped into a empty net, only for the offside flag to spare the home side’s blushes

Here are five talking points from Manchester.

Andros Townsend grabbed a second-half equaliser

1 Still plenty to be done

Villarreal must’ve felt they were the victims of a robbery having left Manchester with nothing in midweek.

With far fewer resources and household names the Spaniards dominated large periods of their Champions League clash only for Ronaldo to save the day for United.

The alarm bells will still have been ringing though and Everton were also able to enjoy large periods on the front foot.

Benitez’s men probably fell behind against the run of play and their leveller was fully deserved.

Too many times this year United have looked well below the sum of their parts and sooner rather than later Solskjaer needs to make his United machine tick with far more fluency that he currently is.

That said, credit to Everton, whose stock continues to grow this term.

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2 Martial grabs his chance

Minutes won’t be coming the Frenchman’s way every week so when they do he needs to take advantage.

There was talk of him leaving in the summer and some still feel as if this will be his last year in Manchester.

Martial’s display in the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham last week certainly didn’t turn any heads.

Against Everton though, having missed an early chance which will have done little to lift his confidence, United’s No 9 slotted home the opener with confidence before the interval.

Martial has always been a player who rides the wave and, having been backed by his manager consistently, Solskjaer will hope a purple patch is incoming.

An early withdrawal on 56 minutes, potentially with an injury concern, will have put a downer on an otherwise positive afternoon.

Anthony Martial’s strike was his first of the season

3 Ole rings the changes

So Ronaldo is droppable after all. Solskjaer will say he was rested but feeling able to leave his talisman on the bench is a major statement.

United’s attacking depth is as strong as it has been for years and the problem this season will be keeping all the players happy.

Martial and Edinson Cavani have had to be patient but both were afforded starts ahead of the likes of Ronaldo, the out of form Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba.

All three were on by the 70th minutes at United sought a winner but managing his players’ workload will be key for Solskjaer.

Nevertheless, making wholesale changes is a risky game. Genius if you win, flawed if you lose. A draw? Well something in between I suppose.

Demarai Gray has been a star for Everton this season

4 Why did Leicester let Gray go?

Plenty must be questioning whether this Gray is the one let go by Leicester.

Quite how Everton have signed a player of his calibre for just over £1m and he will surely go down as bargain of the year at this rate.

At the Foxes he was inconsistent and failed to nail down regular minutes with his highlight perhaps a wonderstrike at Old Trafford in 2016.

Now though, following a stint in Germany, Gray is playing with a confidence and a flair not yet seen.

The way he imposed himself on the Old Trafford pitch was impressive and his role in the equaliser was further proof of his quality.

David de Gea is, once again, a commanding presence in goal

5 De Gea’s renaissance

Questions were rightly asked last season about, not only De Gea’s role as a starter, but his United future full stop.

Dean Henderson is waiting in the wings and is a more than credible alternative to the Spaniard.

On this form however De Gea won’t be being overlooked anytime soon as he continues to produce big moments.

In midweek he was United’s best player with a save percentage north of 80 and again at Old Trafford he came up with vital saves.

Everton enjoyed a strong finish to the first-half and De Gea needed to stop a powerful Gray drive to keep the game level but he was helpless to stop Townsend’s equaliser.

A sense of confidence and assurance is beginning to return to United’s No 1.

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