In April of last year Manchester United played Everton at Old Trafford in the English Premier League. This season’s fixture between the sides will bring back memories of a match which ultimately cost United the title.
United led 4-2 towards the end of the second half and if they could have held out to win the match they would have probably established an insurmountable lead over Manchester City in the race to win the championship.
Holding a two goal lead United pressed forward to score a fifth goal and Patrice Evra actually hit the post when it appeared easier to score. Everton then scored two goals in the last ten minutes and the points were shared.
Famously Sir Alex Ferguson’s side lost the title on goal difference to City. Their great rivals were losing 2-1 to Queens Park Rangers at the start of added time in the final fixture of the season knowing only a win would earn them their first championship in England for 24 years.
City equalized at the start of injury time and then scored the decisive winning goal right at the end of the game. United had won their match at Sunderland but that was not enough because City matched that result to win the title by the narrowest of margins.
Last season’s match at home to Everton seemed to be won but the two dropped points were the difference between United winning and losing the title. They have a decent relationship with Everton without the same bitterness that exists between United and Liverpool.
Relations were strained somewhat when Wayne Rooney (pictured) was transferred from Everton to United. He was a fanatical Everton supporter as a boy and once revealed a t-shirt during a match with the words ‘Once A Blue, Always a Blue’ printed on the front.
Evertonians have still not forgotten that 10 years later and a small minority of Everton supporters will still boo Rooney when he touches the ball. Generally, though, the two sets of supporters have mutual respect and the two managers, Ferguson and David Moyes, are close friends.
The history between the clubs also includes two recent FA Cup Finals. In 1985 United beat Everton after extra time and ten years later it was the Blues that won the Cup. Despite the relative harmony between the clubs United will be wary of Everton and hoping not to drop points against the side that beat them in the reverse fixture at the start of the season but more significantly drew with in the corresponding match in 2012.