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Holders Manchester United handed trip to Swansea in Carabao Cup draw

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• Tottenham host local rivals West Ham at Wembley in fourth round
• Crystal Palace will be wary of an upset when they travel to Bristol City

Manchester United, the holders, will travel to Swansea in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. José Mourinho’s side beat Burton of the Championship 4-1 at Old Trafford on Wednesday to secure their place in the draw.

Chelsea, 5-1 winners against Nottingham Forest, will welcome Everton – who beat Sunderland 3-0 – to Stamford Bridge. Tottenham host West Ham at Wembley and Manchester City entertain Championship side Wolves. Arsenal will also welcome Championship opposition to the Emirates in the shape of Norwich.

Related: Manchester United and Marcus Rashford allow Burton little consolation

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Carabao Cup: third-round action plus fourth-round draw – as it happened

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No shocks tonight, but the fourth-round draw threw up a few tasty ties.

The fourth-round draw in full:

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United
Bristol City v Crystal Palace
Swansea City v Manchester United
Arsenal v Norwich City
Chelsea v Everton
Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Leicester City v Leeds United
Bournemouth v Middlesbrough

Bournemouth v Middlesbrough. And that completes the fourth-round draw, ties to be played the week commencing October 23.

Leicester City v Leeds United.

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chelsea v Everton.

Arsenal v Norwich City.

Swansea City v Manchester United.

Bristol City v Crystal Palace.

Here we go, then! Charlie Nicholas and Phil Thompson will make the draw for the fourth round. And the first tie is: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United.

Stay awhile, please, will you? Because the draw for the fourth round is coming up soon! But while we wait, here’s the results from a night of action high on goals, low on drama, that late flurry at the Hawthorns apart:

And so Leroy Sane is City’s two-goal hero. The 1970, 1976, 2014 and 2016 winners are in the hat for the fourth round, at the expense of the 1966 champs!

What a chance for West Brom to equalise! McClean shoots from 25 yards out, down the inside-left channel. His effort is deflected, but drops to Robson-Kanu on the penalty spot! He’s just got to slot the ball past Bravo, but instead he crashes an effort off the outside of the left-hand post, and City survive! In the last minute of injury time!

No clean sheet, then, but the holders are comfortably through to the fourth round.

A consolation for Burton, and United finally concede this season at Old Trafford! Sub keeper Joel Pereira fumbles under a little pressure on his line, and Dyer smashes the loose ball home from a tight angle on the left!

A free kick for City just outside the Baggies box. A poor decision to faff about, though, and Robson-Kanu is given half a chance to attack on the break. The move breaks down for West Brom, but they’ll have five additional minutes in which to save themselves.

Just three minutes left on the clock at the Hawthorns, where the game is still in the balance. McClean threatens to break on goal but he’s disabused of that notion. Is there a surprise in this evening yet?

The Gunners are through, but that was something of a misfire. Still, in the hat is in the hat. Arsenal haven’t won this trophy since 1993. Could this be their year?

West Brom haven’t given this up by any means. Rondon flashes a header inches wide right of goal from six yards. Then Morrison threatens to break through, but can’t get anything meaningful away. A one-sided nonsense has suddenly exploded into life!

The 1977 and 1984 finalists see off the 1985 and 2014 runners-up.

Morrison is denied by a wonder save from Bravo. A second chance for West Brom to go ahead spurned. And then City fly up the other end, Sane sashaying down the right, gliding inside, dropping a shoulder, and floating a glorious effort into the top left!

And that’s Chelsea into the fourth round.

With the very last move of the match, Forest embark on some triangulation down the right wing. Finally the ball drops to Darikwa six yards out, and he sidefoots confidently into the bottom right for a consolation.

At the Emirates, Mandeville dribbles in from the left and nearly Ricky Villas a goal out of nothing! Doncaster so nearly level against Arsenal! Meanwhile at the Hawthorns, the ball is slipped to the feet of Robson-Kanu, six yards out! He must score, but shanks an effort wide left of the target. Suddenly it’s Manchester City on the ropes!

City are made to pay for their profligacy! A corner for the Baggies out on the right. The ball’s hooked into the mixer, where Jacob is on hand to sidefoot home from six yards! Where was the City defence? Not anywhere near Yacob. And we have drama! A match in the balance!

TV set for Michy Batshuayi, please! Kenedy hammers a shot onto the Forest cross bar from a tight position on the left. His spectacular effort drops to Batshuayi, who taps home for his hat-trick!

West Brom have been on the ropes all evening, but there’s only one goal in it at the Hawthorns. And suddenly Robson-Kanu flicks a ball down the inside-left channel to release Morrison into the City box! He threads a shot across Bravo and inches wide of the right-hand post. Then Sane romps up the other end, down the right. He’s clear, and should shoot, but squares it and the chance is gone.

A delicate diagonal Davies pass looped forward to Niasse on the left-hand edge of the Sunderland box. Niasse chests down and extends a leg, lashing a fine finish into the top right.

A one-two with Rashford sends Martial away, down the inside-right channel. Martial slots confidently, and powerfully, into the bottom right. Manchester United’s last two games have finished 3-0 and 4-0; there’s half an hour left for a pretty pattern to develop.

Lookman very nearly makes it three for Everton against Sunderland. A couple of quick-fire snapshots towards the right-hand corner from close range. But he’s denied both times. “Ah, Nigel Jemson,” writes Andy Coupe. “A scorer of a hat-trick in this competition. The sponsors gave him a TV.” As mentioned earlier: Rumbelows, a class act.

There’s not a lot going on. A lull. Despite the goals, this evening’s been one long lull. Drama, please!

Doncaster are threatening to give Arsenal a game at the Emirates. May very nearly tore clear of the Arsenal back line, but Maitland-Niles zipped back to deal with the danger. Meanwhile Luke Shaw is on for Manchester United, for the first time this season, and he’s quickly into the action against Burton, seeing a goal chalked off for offside.

The matches at Old Trafford and the Hawthorns have restarted, so we’re back up and running everywhere again. And Burton very nearly claw a goal back against Manchester United, a deep Palmer free kick from the right finding the head of Akpan, six yards out. He must work Romero at the very least, but the effort flies off target.

Hazard’s first touch to set up that goal was lovely, though not quite in the Roberto Baggio class. But then what is? In case you missed it today …

Related: Golazos galore: the 25 best goals from the golden era of Serie A

Hazard brings a long ball down, dead, on the edge of the area. He drifts a little to the right, drawing half the Forest team with him. So he rolls it back towards the penalty spot, where Batshuayi hammers low. The League Cup glory days of Nigel Jemson seem a long time ago right now. Well, they are a long time ago, but you get the general point.

… and at the Emirates, it should be a brace for Walcott. But set free down the middle, he topples backwards and lifts a dreadful effort miles over the bar with only the keeper to beat. Doncaster aren’t out of this quite yet.

Sandro turns on the pace down the left and slides a ball forward for Calvert-Lewin, who sends a fine rising smash into the roof of the net! Two for Calvert-Lewin …

A fast start to the second half by Chelsea, who don’t really need it, three up as they are against Forest. Hazard cuts in from the left and batters a powerful effort onto the right-hand post.

And it’s half-time in the 8pm kick offs. Good news for both Manchester clubs, as they head to the changing rooms in control. United are 3-0 up at home against Burton; City a goal to the good at West Brom.

Burton, to their immense credit, keep on keepin’ on. Palmer, out on the left, loops a fine cross to the far post, where Lund brings the ball down but leans back and sends his effort from the right-hand corner of the six-yard box, way off target. A real chance. Up the other end, Lingard races into the box from the right and is lightly clipped by Turner. It should be a penalty kick, but the referee shows Burton some sympathy. You’d probably hear more about that were it goalless, or were United playing City. But this is where we are.

A testimonial feel at Old Trafford. And then suddenly it’s party time again, as Martial dribbles with extreme prejudice down the left, throws in a couple of pretty tricks, then finds Lingard on the edge of the box. He aims for the bottom right, but the ball takes a huge deflection off Turner and into the bottom left. Ripley in goal had no chance.

The half-times in the 7.45pm kick-offs: Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster; Chelsea 3-0 Forest; Everton 1-0 Sunderland. A good chance for Doncaster towards the end of the first 45, incidentally, May lashing a shot into the side netting from a tight angle on the right.

Burton have spurned a superb chance to get back into the match at Old Trafford. Mason was found free in the centre, on the penalty spot with the ball at his feet. He tried to lift it over the out-rushing Romero, but didn’t get any purchase on the ball and the keeper was able to smother with ease.

Gabriel Jesus has just scooped a shot over the bar at the Hawthorns from eight yards. What a miss by the brilliant Brazilian! West Brom could easily be three down already. No shame in that against this ludicrously entertaining Manchester City side. This Pep-v-Jose thing is shaping up to be quite a story, isn’t it. Here’s hoping both teams can keep it up all season.

It’s not going to come at Stamford Bridge. The young Belgian Charly Musonda romps into a bit of space down the inside-right and lashes an unstoppable shot into the net.

Everton have been on top at Goodison from the get-go. Now Calvert-Lewin takes advantage of a game of penalty-area pinball, the ball finally falling at his feet. He scoops it into the net from the spot. We’ve now got a full house of matches going the way everyone expected. Anyone fancy drumming up a little drama?

Manchester City continue to dominate at West Brom. Mangala has just had a header clawed off the line. “Penny for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s thoughts?” parrots Colin Mackay. “How about 40 mil for Klopp’s thoughts?”

Blind glides in from the left and feeds Rashford, who turns and larrups a stunning shot from the left of the D onto the left-hand post and in. What a shot! “No chance of one or both of them scoring, I suppose, but Burton Albion has both Flanagan and Allen in their starting line-up,” notes Steven Hughes. The Milk Cup, the 1960 US election, now memories of the music hall. The internet kids love this sort of thing. They can’t get enough of it. No need to thank us.

Sanchez, deep on the left, sprays a delicious diagonal ball into the box for Walcott, who kills it stone dead with an exquisite touch and flicks it into the net. Some pass, some finish. Arsenal are beginning to find a little form, just as Liverpool have misplaced theirs. Penny for poor Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s thoughts right now.

So having said that, Dowell nearly gives Forest a foothold in the game, whipping a glorious free kick towards the top right. But it’s an inch too high, and clatters into the post. Chelsea clear.

At Chelsea, Forest are hanging on. Kenedy races down the left and very nearly finds Batshuayi with a dribbler of a cross, but the striker’s a toenail shy of poking home. Then Fabregas releases Zappacosta, who finds the net but he’s offside.

Anything City can do, their rivals can match. Carrick quarterbacks from a deep position down the inside left. Mata, just inside the area, cushions the pass into the path of Rashford, coming in from the right. No mistake! Drama may well be at a premium tonight, the way things are going across the board.

Lovely twinkling toes on the edge of the D by Hazard. He slips the ball through the middle, Batshuayi sashaying into the area and clipping home.

Although goal-crazy Manchester City don’t need too much of a chance. Gundogan sees a snapshot from close range parried well by Foster; Sane is on hand to latch onto the rebound and smack home.

The matches at Old Trafford and the Hawthorns have kicked off, so all five matches are now underway. Just the one goal so far. Give them a chance.

Rudiger hoicks one in from the right wing. Ghosting in at the far post is Kenedy, who sidefoots with great purpose into the bottom left. The 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2015 winners take the lead against the champions of 1978, 1979, 1989 and 1990!

No goals yet in the three 7.45pm kick offs at Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton. Arsenal have gone closest, Olivier Giroud trying to out-spectacular his effort against Crystal Palace last season with a scissor kick against Doncaster. He’s clattered his effort onto the bar. “Great photo of the wholesome, nutritious beverage sponsor of yesteryear,” begins Peter Oh, child of the 80s. “In America in the 90s there was a popular advertisement campaign called Got Milk?, which featured images of celebrities sporting milk moustaches. Try that with a fizzy energy drink. It’s just not the same.”

And here’s Burton boss Nigel Clough, doing his bit to defend his Dad’s record. “Our mood is buoyant, we’ve been in a good run. These lads have played at Oldham and Cardiff, and have got us here, so I thought I’d stick with them. We need Man U to have an off night, they’re capable of tearing Premier League defences apart. We’ll try to hang on in there, and see if we can get a goal. We’ll try to enjoy it, we never know if we’ll ever come back here again. So we’re going to enjoy it, and have a go!”

Some hot Jose Mourinho pre-match chat. “We have to win tonight, and my experience in the English cups suggests that every match is a tricky one. Every opponent has a dream and every match can be very difficult. Let’s go step by step, and try to make the draw. Players are not happy when they don’t play, so I have to rotate. We have a good team, a team that respects the opponent, and a bench that gives me options should I need to meet changes.” Should Mourinho’s team retain their trophy this year, the manager becomes the most successful boss in League Cup history. He’s currently tied at the top with Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson, having lifted the three-handled trophy on four occasions. He’s not worried about individual baubles, though, right?

It’s all change for Arsenal! Nobody who started the goalless draw at Chelsea is in their starting XI tonight. Jack Wilshere is back, as is Alexis Sanchez. League One Doncaster lost at home to Scunthorpe on Sunday; they make two swaps, with on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jordan Houghton and striker Alfie May coming in.

Chelsea make nine changes from that aforementioned goalless draw on Sunday. Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are the only constants, while Willy Caballero makes his debut in goal, and Eden Hazard starts a match for the first time this season. Nottingham Forest make eight changes, with former Chelsea prospect Michael Mancienne the centrepiece of their defence.

Arsenal: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Wilshere, Nelson, Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud.
Subs: Iwobi, Monreal, Akpom, Macey, Joseph Willock, Da Silva, Nketiah.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, Butler, Whiteman, Wright, Kongolo, Mason, Coppinger, Rowe, Houghton, May.
Subs: Toffolo, Alcock, Marquis, Williams, Marosi, Mandeville, Garrett.

Chelsea: Caballero, Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Musonda, Batshuayi, Hazard.
Subs: Morata, Moses, Willian, Clarke-Salter, Eduardo, Ampadu, Sterling.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Worrall, Hobbs, Mancienne, Lichaj, Bouchalakis, Osborn, Dowell, Fox, Cummings, Walker.
Subs: McKay, Clough, Brereton, Carayol, Darikwa, Vellios, Smith.

It’s the third round of the League Cup! (No, I can’t bring myself to call it that. Rumbelows never seemed a classier brand.) And here are the remaining fixtures, to be played this fine evening …

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Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin hits double in easy win over Sunderland

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Ronald Koeman may have found a solution to Everton’s striking deficiencies after all. After four painful matches without a goal Dominic Calvert-Lewin underlined his rich potential once again and Oumar Niasse returned from exile to give the Everton manager a much-needed victory over Sunderland.

Simon Grayson’s Championship team had won only once in seven matches before their arrival at Goodison Park and never looked likely to end that dispiriting run as Everton rediscovered the cutting edge and solidity that had vanished in recent weeks. The impressive Calvert-Lewin scored twice while Niasse, who was banished by Koeman after one pre-season friendly and almost joined Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day, sealed victory with a well-taken finish on a night when both clubs promoted the Bradley Lowery Foundation on their shirts.

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Manchester United v Burton, Arsenal v Doncaster and more – Carabao Cup live!

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It’s all change for Arsenal! Nobody who started the goalless draw at Chelsea is in their starting XI tonight. Jack Wilshere is back, as is Alexis Sanchez. League One Doncaster lost at home to Scunthorpe on Sunday; they make two swaps, with on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jordan Houghton and striker Alfie May coming in.

Chelsea make nine changes from that aforementioned goalless draw on Sunday. Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are the only constants, while Willy Caballero makes his debut in goal, and Eden Hazard starts a match for the first time this season. Nottingham Forest make eight changes, with former Chelsea prospect Michael Mancienne the centrepiece of their defence.

Arsenal: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Wilshere, Nelson, Walcott, Sanchez, Giroud.
Subs: Iwobi, Monreal, Akpom, Macey, Joseph Willock, Da Silva, Nketiah.
Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor, Blair, Butler, Whiteman, Wright, Kongolo, Mason, Coppinger, Rowe, Houghton, May.
Subs: Toffolo, Alcock, Marquis, Williams, Marosi, Mandeville, Garrett.

Chelsea: Caballero, Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Musonda, Batshuayi, Hazard.
Subs: Morata, Moses, Willian, Clarke-Salter, Eduardo, Ampadu, Sterling.
Nottingham Forest: Henderson, Worrall, Hobbs, Mancienne, Lichaj, Bouchalakis, Osborn, Dowell, Fox, Cummings, Walker.
Subs: McKay, Clough, Brereton, Carayol, Darikwa, Vellios, Smith.

It’s the third round of the League Cup! (No, I can’t bring myself to call it that. Rumbelows never seemed a classier brand.) And here are the remaining fixtures, to be played this fine evening …

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Wayne Rooney pleads guilty to drink-driving

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Former England football captain enters plea in court appearance marked by large police and media presence

The former England football captain Wayne Rooney has pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge.

The Everton forward, 31, was banned from driving for two years and ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.

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Ronald Koeman tells José Mourinho to ‘get realistic’ – video

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In a fractious press conference after his Everton side lost 4-0 at Old Trafford, Ronald Koeman told José Mourinho to 'get realistic', in reference to comments the Manchester United boss made in his column in the match programme. Koeman also suggested that if he can't get his team to win in the four home games they have before the next international break, he should be removed from his job.

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Ronald Koeman tells José Mourinho to “get realistic” – video

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In a fractious press conference after his Everton side lost 4-0 at Old Trafford, Ronald Koeman told José Mourinho to “get realistic”, in reference to comments the Manchester United boss made in his column in the match-day programme. Koeman also suggested that if he can’t get his team to win in the four home games they have before the next international break, he should be removed from his job

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Wayne Rooney loses out in battle of Manchester United’s past and present | Jamie Jackson

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Wayne Rooney made his first return to Old Trafford since leaving and it was not a happy one as his replacement Romelu Lukaku overshadowed him

The heavens opened after only three minutes and so Wayne Rooney was being soaked as Antonio Valencia flashed home a sweet volley that gave Manchester United the lead moments later. This was not the way the club’s record goalscorer imagined his return.

Rooney last faced United at this venue on Boxing Day 2003 when Everton lost 3-2 to a Sir Alex Ferguson side that featured Tim Howard, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Bellion. While Rooney’s status then as Old Trafford’s golden boy was still in the future, this match might have been billed as United Past versus United Present. With Rooney donning Everton livery, the home crowd would see their 253-goal man line up against his replacement, Romelu Lukaku, whose six goals in six games was a dream start to his career after moving from Goodison Park. Rooney had scored in Everton’s first two Premier League games but nothing since.

Related: Wayne Rooney deserves a Ronaldo-style welcome at Old Trafford | Daniel Taylor

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Ronald Koeman frustrated by José Mourinho’s top-four comment

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• Mourinho says Everton should be aiming for top-four finish
• Koeman tells Manchester United manager to ‘get realistic’

Ronald Koeman told José Mourinho to “get realistic” after the Manchester United manager claimed before his side’s 4-0 win that Everton should be aiming for a top-four finish “at least” having spent £140m in the summer transfer window.

Goals from Antonio Valencia on two minutes, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on 83, Romelu Lukaku, on 89, and an Anthony Martial penalty in added time put United joint-top with Manchester City, both teams having 13 points and 16 goals with two conceded after five matches.

Related: Antonio Valencia screamer sets up Manchester United win over Everton

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Antonio Valencia screamer sets up Manchester United win over Everton

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By the end, Wayne Rooney could probably be forgiven for wondering what kind of adventures he might be missing with his old team. He had heard his name sung and there was a little, polite wave of appreciation to the crowd. Yet Rooney wore the look of a man whose return to Old Trafford had felt like an ordeal and when he returned to the away dressing-room it was to ruminate on a defeat that leaves Everton in the relegation zone.

The irony is that it was certainly not the must fluent display from Manchester United during these early parts of the season. Indeed, for long spells in the second half they flirted with the idea of letting their opponents back into the match. Ultimately, though, it turned into another rout, their third 4-0 win of the new campaign, during those late exchanges when Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and the substitute Antony Martial, with a penalty, scored respectively in the 84th, 89th and 92nd minutes.

Related: Manchester United 4-0 Everton: Premier League – live!

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Manchester United 4-0 Everton: Premier League – as it happened

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Manchester United overpower Everton thanks to Antonio Valencia and late strikes from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial

Related: Antonio Valencia screamer sets up Manchester United win over Everton

No happy return for Rooney, then. Perhaps it should have been – he had a couple of presentable chances and the one just after half-time, in particular, will be replaying in his head all evening. United pulled clear at the end, not for the first time this season, and deserved the win although never by that margin. Everton were decent in the second half: they might wonder how a more proactive attitude from the start could have helped them.

United go joint-top, with an *identical* record to Man City. Everton are a deeply unsatisfactory 18th. Do we have the Mourinho-Guardiola battle this season that we were falsely promised before 2016/17? I’ll leave you with that question, and doubtless many others. Bye!

An odd game, and never a 4-0, but that’s your lot!

Well this has all escalated. Dispatched smoothly to Pickford’s right.

Martial runs through, looks set to score, but Schneiderlin handles the ball away from him. Martial to take and …

90+1 min: Sandro forces a smart save from De Gea but then …

Well that is a little unfortunate for Everton, and namely those fans who jeer mockingly when Lukaku’s tame free-kick cannons off the wall. The problem is that the ball stays alive and is quickly returned with interest from the left hand side, deflecting off a couple of people and sitting up just nicely for Lukaku to convert at the back stick. Oops. His celebration is vigorous.

89 min: Lukaku apparently gave the Everton fans a bit of the old “hush” when the second goal went in. Endearing. He might fancy one of his own now as United win a free-kick on the edge of the area that’s perfect for a left-footer …

87 min: Schneiderlin looks for Baines but the pass is 15 yards ahead of him. Mkhitaryan now gets his moment of applause, replaced by Martial.

86 min: Hard on Everton after this second half, but they just haven’t taken their chances – Rooney in particular – and have tended to dally at the back. They’ve been punished for both.

That’s that, and Everton have had a few of these in them. Williams fudges a pass 10 yards outside his own area, Fellaini diverts it to Lukaku, the striker brings it forward and then does really well, seeing Mkhitaryan to his left and passing unselfishly. The finish is low and clinical. Everton did that to themselves, and that particular mistake had perhaps been coming.

82 min: Williams only just manages to smuggle another Mkhitaryan cross away. Bailly is then booked for a foul on halfway and … now Rooney is taken off during the stoppage, to brief chants of “Rooney, Rooney”. So we won’t get the fairytale. We will get Kevin Mirallas, though.

80 min: United have got better. Do Everton have a big last 10/12/14 in them?

78 min: Lingard almost gets a touch on a Mkhitaryan ball but retrieves possession and squeezes a shot to Pickford. Was he pulled back in the process? Quite possibly, but no penalty is given and perhaps he was “almost too honest” in carrying on and trying to score despite the impediment.

77 min: Matic is given an invitation to shoot from distance, first by the crowd and then by Everton’s reluctance to close. It fizzes a metre wide. Subs for both now: Calvert-Lewin replaces Gueye in an attacking move for Everton, and Herrera takes Mata’s spot for United.

74 min: Rooney and Baines combine before Sandro sees a shot blocked from 18 yards. United break and Lingard, lively since coming on, has an effort of his own deflected not far over.

72 min: You sense there’s another goal in this game, at one end or the other. Martina tries to make sure it doesn’t go to United, tripping Lingard unnecessarily and earning a yellow.

70 min: Lingard could seal it for United, after Young does well to get to the left byline and cuts back to the near post. It’s on his left foot though and, under pressure from Williams, he skies it.

68 min: This half is surely the best Everton have played all season. Rooney feeds Sigurdsson on the left and he looks to check and bend a right-footed cross in; he gets it all wrong, though, and it sails out.

66 min: Sandro comes on for Everton now, in place of Davies, who has played well.

64 min: Pickford almost undoes all of Everton’s better work with a terrible ball out from the back that lands straight at Mata, who dallies a little and is bundled over by Williams right on the edge of the box. Yellow card. Free kick. Thudded onto the near post by Mata’s left foot! That would have won it for them!

61 min: De Gea saves United again! A stray Jones header is latched onto by Sigurdsson and, with Rooney also lurking, he stretches to shoot from the corner of the six yard box. It’s repelled by the goalkeeper’s body. But Everton have, bar Lukaku’s chance earlier, probably had better opportunities than United now.

61 min: I was right, just this time – Rashford, not great today, goes off.

60 min: We are about to see Jesse Lingard. I’d remove Rashford, but then hooking Mata would add extra speed on the break.

58 min: There’s just no real speed to United’s play. Everton, nicely compact, have had some influence on that and you’d have to say Pogba is missed too. But the likes of Mkhitaryan and Rashford haven’t done enough here, for me.

57 min: This is, actually, probably the least impressive I’ve seen from United so far this season. Everton can sense similar and look a lot more assertive now. Can they create enough chances though?

54 min: Better from United now as a Mata delivery swings over Jagielka’s head. That means Lukaku has room in front of goal, but his chest control is heavy and the ball pops up, meaning the resulting volley is awkward and spooned high.

51 min: Gueye is caught on the ball by Fellaini, who feeds Mkhitaryan. The Armenian finds Rashford in turn, but he checks inside from the left and curls well wide. Not great. United still yet to come out after half-time.

50 min: Rooney is at it again, almost rounding Bailly on the edge of the area, but Jones is across in the nick of time. United having a few nervous moments at the hands of their returning legend.

49 min: That was such a good opportunity for Rooney. Everton should be level. United haven’t really begun the second period yet.

46 min: Rooney has an even better chance! What a start to the half that would have been! He exchanges passes with Davies, sashays into the right of the area, and seems to have been crowded out – but he bundles through and, at an angle, has only De Gea to beat! But his left-footed shot is too close to his former team-mate and the save is made. Should have scored!

Can Everton and Rooney turn this around?

“Ronald Koeman said his team has to be more aggressive, Everton signs Angry Birds as sleeve sponsor,” Sibi Titus and a number of others point out.

@NickAmes82 How many sleeve corrections is Jagielka away from being labeled "Angry Birds Captain" to "Angry Captain"?

Valencia shinned his goal, by the way. But who cares?

A bit more pizazz going forward and Everton could yet trouble United. They were set up so cautiously at the start though – and this was supposed to be the season where they went toe to toe with the top six …

Not a great half, although we did see a great goal from Valencia. Lukaku should have made it two for United but Everton, awful for 20 minutes, did get better and Rooney missed a reasonable opportunity to write the headlines. You feel United can and should step this up and win in comfort; for now, they’ll have to be vigilant and make sure Martina, Everton’s biggest threat, gets a little less space down the right.

44 min: Jagielka chooses to leave a harmless dinked ball by Mata for Pickford, who is distinctly surprised and fumbles. For a split second Lukaku might pounce, but the goalkeeper recovers. When pressed, Everton to not look secure.

42 min: Some real seat-of-the-pants defending by Everton now, passing the ball up towards halfway without ever really having it under control. They’ll be happy to hear the whistle.

41 min: Rashford shanks a poor, flat cross beyond everybody. He’s blown hot and cold so far.

39 min: It could have come there, Lukaku running clear again after a give-and-go with Rashford before Jagielka slides in superbly as the trigger is pulled. United win one corner, and then a second that loops around and causes some bother, but Everton just about survive again.

38 min: Williams has to make another crucial challenge as the last man to prevent Mkhitaryan from breaking. You do feel a second United goal would finish this, but until then Everton are certainly keeping them honest.

37 min: Everton have, to be fair, improved massively since that first 15 or 20 minutes. Still a lack of real pace and zest though.

35 min: Pickford slides in adeptly to *just* beat Rashford to the ball and, also, avoid handling it outside the area. It was a beautiful pass by, I think, Mkhitaryan that set him scurrying away.

34 min: A scrappy phase, now. You’d have say that United haven’t turned the screw as they could have. What is Sir Alex, shown sitting next to Mick Hucknall in the directors’ box, thinking?

31 min: A smooth Everton move ends up at Martina’s feet again, but he crosses poorly into Matic with players waiting. He gets another chance to overlap moments later but is adjudged to have pulled Young back.

29 min: Davies dives onto a Martina cross and De Gea saves with his legs from point-blank range … but Davies was offside anyway. That right side is providing them with some joy.

28 min: That might yet prove crucial. Awful error by Keane just as Everton were getting a reasonable foothold – but he was let off!

26 min: What a miss from Lukaku! Keane plays a disastrous square pass in his own half that totally wrong-foots Schneiderlin. Lukaku seizes the ball, surges into the box, commits Williams and has most of the goal to aim at from about 10 yards. He slots it past Pickford, but also wide of the post!

24 min: It’s a bit more open now. United might like to create another opportunity or two, although they now win a free kick when Williams goes in late on Lukaku. It’s just too far out for a crack at goal and Mata’s delivery is cleared with ease by Keane.

21 min: Lukaku flashes a ball across the box from the left, and then can’t reach a Mata cross from the other side. Then Everton break and Rooney has a chance! Martina, a good outlet down that right side, cuts one back towards the edge of the area, and Rooney, taking it first-time on the run, cuts it just past a diving De Gea’s right post! Might have done better!

19 min: Lukaku goes on his first real run and touches it forward to Rashford, breaking on the right of the area. Williams has to get his tackle spot on, or it’s a penalty – and to give him credit, he does.

18 min: United, still overwhelmingly in control if not exactly creating chance after chance, are playing the ball around with some comfort. They’re not being pressed with much ferocity.

15 min: A lovely Rooney touch frees Davies with Martina in a great position on the overlap ahead of him, but the pass is poor. Everton have at least perked up a touch. They then win a free-kick midway inside the United half, which Sigurdsson whips in. Rooney fouls De Gea, though.

13 min: Everton do construct an attack now and Martina delivers well from the right, but Jones gets up to flick the ball away before Rooney – the only player in proximity – can attack it.

12 min: Rooney tries to do something, looking to spread wide for Martina just beyond halfway, but Young is in to intercept and bring the ball forward. There are one or two jeers.

11 min: Mata picks out Young on the left byline but he drills high and beyond the far post. Everton have literally not been in the United half yet. Literally.

9 min: Back to my earlier point, it kind of helps relieve pressure if you field a striker …

8 min: United have really stepped the tempo up now, knowing that a second would be very hard to come back from. A couple of skirmishes in the box lead to a panicky Pickford clearance. Everton are still camped so deep and really can’t get out.

6 min: Quite glad of that, as Everton had come here to dig in and can’t really do that now. That was a once-a-season strike from Valencia, and came from absolutely nothing.

Errrr, nothing slow about that! Matic whips the ball from the left side across the edge of the box, left-footed, with most of the Everton team incredibly deep inside their own area. Valencia, lurking just beyond the corner of the area, takes the ball after it bounces and absolutely thrashes it plum into the far top corner! An absolutely brilliant strike – and what a start for United!

3 min: It is raining hard at Old Trafford. There’s no torrent of attacking movement so far though. It’s been fairly slow United buildup.

1 min: A couple of nice economical early touches from Rooney. That’s a takeaway from the opening minute. The crowd aren’t lingering on him though, it’s strictly business now.

Lukaku kicks off for United, who go right to left.

I mean, I look at the Everton team here and – with the best will to the player Rooney is these days, which is still a fine one – there really isn’t a proper striker. Not really.

The teams are walking out, I’ve already seen at least one Rooney banner in the home end – the reception looks to be a very warm one.

Wayne Rooney has scored 9.7% of Man Utd’s PL goals at Old Trafford. He must be tempted to slot in some hot own goals today to reach that 10%

Statistic.

Michael Cosgrove asks: “So, it’s Rooney’s return to Old Trafford. Will he be welcomed onto the pitch by generous applause reserved for former heroes or the bitter boos that are reserved for traitors?”

I mean, that’s the question isn’t it. Looks like being the former though (as it should be … read Danny Taylor’s excellent piece for more on that).

Interesting, too, how Mourinho – speaking now – refers to Everton’s “five at the back”. He’s done that before, he doesn’t think three at the back is really a thing. I know what he means; in most cases it’s a hedging of bets at very best.

Koeman on a switch to three at the back: “We know how to play this system, we had a good result away at City and we did it several times last season. I think we need a bit more of a compact team and in the last few teams we lost a little bit our strength.”

Rooney on a nice reception when he bowled up earlier: “Of course it was nice but I’m here to try and get a result for Everton, it’s a big game for us and important to try and get something. It’s going to be strange but I’m here with Everton and trying to get a result, obviously I’m with Everton and trying to win. It’s a game of football, 90 minutes on the pitch, everything will be going into trying to get a result for us.”

Reading between the lines, I’d say he’s here with Everton and wants to try and win the game.

So, Everton fans, what’s gone wrong lately? Without Lukaku and, of course, Barkley there just seems little drive and flair. Not enough pace, not enough vim. How big a failure was it not to snare a striker?

Another thing Rooney did as an Everton player at Old Trafford – a matter of weeks before it all kicked off with that goal against Arsenal:

Ok, so Chelsea v Arsenal finished goalless and wasn’t great. Here’s some better warm-up material for you. What did Wayne Rooney do the last time he played at Old Trafford as a visiting player?

Hang on, no, I can’t let this go:

| A first look at our sleeve sponsor, @AngryBirds, as part of our new partnership with @rovio#RedIsABlue pic.twitter.com/bgLg74ov6W

Let me know what you think of those teams – email and Twitter addresses are appended. I’ll talk to you more when Chelsea-Arsenal, currently finely balanced at 0-0, is finished. You can keep up with that here:

Related: Chelsea v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young, Fellaini, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku. Subs: Martial,
Smalling, Lingard, Carrick, Romero, Herrera, Darmian.

Everton: Pickford, Keane, Jagielka, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney. Subs: Sandro, Mirallas, Klaassen, Besic, Stekelenburg, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate.

Wayne’s World. Fountains of Wayne. Wayne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. However you like your Wayne, there’s something for you today – are you an Evertonian, outraged by his departure all those years ago, who has clutched him firmly back to your bosom this time around? Perhaps you’re a United fan who, despite his slow fade over his final couple of seasons, believes he can do no wrong? Perhaps you’re somebody who takes a little from columns A, B and all the others, admiring the good and the bad from a brilliant if complex career that still have a fair few turns left in it.

The latest one, his return to Old Trafford, would have been billed a month or so back as the potential storming of the citadel by a vibrant, new-look Everton lineup led heroically by the man of the moment. Everton started the season reasonably well, Rooney scoring the obvious winner on his league re-debut, but it’s not gone remotely to plan since. A 1-1 draw at Man City – Rooney again – look a better result by the week but everything since has, let’s be honest, been turgid. They were virtually invisible against Chelsea and Tottenham; they were execrable at Atalanta on Thursday night and more of the same would see them take a hiding this afternoon.

Nick will be here shortly.

Continue reading…

Manchester United 4-0 Everton: Premier League – live!

by

An odd game, and never a 4-0, but that’s your lot!

Well this has all escalated. Dispatched smoothly to Pickford’s right.

Martial runs through, looks set to score, but Schneiderlin handles the ball away from him. Martial to take and …

90+1 min: Sandro forces a smart save from De Gea but then …

Well that is a little unfortunate for Everton, and namely those fans who jeer mockingly when Lukaku’s tame free-kick cannons off the wall. The problem is that the ball stays alive and is quickly returned with interest from the left hand side, deflecting off a couple of people and sitting up just nicely for Lukaku to convert at the back stick. Oops. His celebration is vigorous.

89 min: Lukaku apparently gave the Everton fans a bit of the old “hush” when the second goal went in. Endearing. He might fancy one of his own now as United win a free-kick on the edge of the area that’s perfect for a left-footer …

87 min: Schneiderlin looks for Baines but the pass is 15 yards ahead of him. Mkhitaryan now gets his moment of applause, replaced by Martial.

86 min: Hard on Everton after this second half, but they just haven’t taken their chances – Rooney in particular – and have tended to dally at the back. They’ve been punished for both.

That’s that, and Everton have had a few of these in them. Williams fudges a pass 10 yards outside his own area, Fellaini diverts it to Lukaku, the striker brings it forward and then does really well, seeing Mkhitaryan to his left and passing unselfishly. The finish is low and clinical. Everton did that to themselves, and that particular mistake had perhaps been coming.

82 min: Williams only just manages to smuggle another Mkhitaryan cross away. Bailly is then booked for a foul on halfway and … now Rooney is taken off during the stoppage, to brief chants of “Rooney, Rooney”. So we won’t get the fairytale. We will get Kevin Mirallas, though.

80 min: United have got better. Do Everton have a big last 10/12/14 in them?

78 min: Lingard almost gets a touch on a Mkhitaryan ball but retrieves possession and squeezes a shot to Pickford. Was he pulled back in the process? Quite possibly, but no penalty is given and perhaps he was “almost too honest” in carrying on and trying to score despite the impediment.

77 min: Matic is given an invitation to shoot from distance, first by the crowd and then by Everton’s reluctance to close. It fizzes a metre wide. Subs for both now: Calvert-Lewin replaces Gueye in an attacking move for Everton, and Herrera takes Mata’s spot for United.

74 min: Rooney and Baines combine before Sandro sees a shot blocked from 18 yards. United break and Lingard, lively since coming on, has an effort of his own deflected not far over.

72 min: You sense there’s another goal in this game, at one end or the other. Martina tries to make sure it doesn’t go to United, tripping Lingard unnecessarily and earning a yellow.

70 min: Lingard could seal it for United, after Young does well to get to the left byline and cuts back to the near post. It’s on his left foot though and, under pressure from Williams, he skies it.

68 min: This half is surely the best Everton have played all season. Rooney feeds Sigurdsson on the left and he looks to check and bend a right-footed cross in; he gets it all wrong, though, and it sails out.

66 min: Sandro comes on for Everton now, in place of Davies, who has played well.

64 min: Pickford almost undoes all of Everton’s better work with a terrible ball out from the back that lands straight at Mata, who dallies a little and is bundled over by Williams right on the edge of the box. Yellow card. Free kick. Thudded onto the near post by Mata’s left foot! That would have won it for them!

61 min: De Gea saves United again! A stray Jones header is latched onto by Sigurdsson and, with Rooney also lurking, he stretches to shoot from the corner of the six yard box. It’s repelled by the goalkeeper’s body. But Everton have, bar Lukaku’s chance earlier, probably had better opportunities than United now.

61 min: I was right, just this time – Rashford, not great today, goes off.

60 min: We are about to see Jesse Lingard. I’d remove Rashford, but then hooking Mata would add extra speed on the break.

58 min: There’s just no real speed to United’s play. Everton, nicely compact, have had some influence on that and you’d have to say Pogba is missed too. But the likes of Mkhitaryan and Rashford haven’t done enough here, for me.

57 min: This is, actually, probably the least impressive I’ve seen from United so far this season. Everton can sense similar and look a lot more assertive now. Can they create enough chances though?

54 min: Better from United now as a Mata delivery swings over Jagielka’s head. That means Lukaku has room in front of goal, but his chest control is heavy and the ball pops up, meaning the resulting volley is awkward and spooned high.

51 min: Gueye is caught on the ball by Fellaini, who feeds Mkhitaryan. The Armenian finds Rashford in turn, but he checks inside from the left and curls well wide. Not great. United still yet to come out after half-time.

50 min: Rooney is at it again, almost rounding Bailly on the edge of the area, but Jones is across in the nick of time. United having a few nervous moments at the hands of their returning legend.

49 min: That was such a good opportunity for Rooney. Everton should be level. United haven’t really begun the second period yet.

46 min: Rooney has an even better chance! What a start to the half that would have been! He exchanges passes with Davies, sashays into the right of the area, and seems to have been crowded out – but he bundles through and, at an angle, has only De Gea to beat! But his left-footed shot is too close to his former team-mate and the save is made. Should have scored!

Can Everton and Rooney turn this around?

“Ronald Koeman said his team has to be more aggressive, Everton signs Angry Birds as sleeve sponsor,” Sibi Titus and a number of others point out.

@NickAmes82 How many sleeve corrections is Jagielka away from being labeled "Angry Birds Captain" to "Angry Captain"?

Valencia shinned his goal, by the way. But who cares?

A bit more pizazz going forward and Everton could yet trouble United. They were set up so cautiously at the start though – and this was supposed to be the season where they went toe to toe with the top six …

Not a great half, although we did see a great goal from Valencia. Lukaku should have made it two for United but Everton, awful for 20 minutes, did get better and Rooney missed a reasonable opportunity to write the headlines. You feel United can and should step this up and win in comfort; for now, they’ll have to be vigilant and make sure Martina, Everton’s biggest threat, gets a little less space down the right.

44 min: Jagielka chooses to leave a harmless dinked ball by Mata for Pickford, who is distinctly surprised and fumbles. For a split second Lukaku might pounce, but the goalkeeper recovers. When pressed, Everton to not look secure.

42 min: Some real seat-of-the-pants defending by Everton now, passing the ball up towards halfway without ever really having it under control. They’ll be happy to hear the whistle.

41 min: Rashford shanks a poor, flat cross beyond everybody. He’s blown hot and cold so far.

39 min: It could have come there, Lukaku running clear again after a give-and-go with Rashford before Jagielka slides in superbly as the trigger is pulled. United win one corner, and then a second that loops around and causes some bother, but Everton just about survive again.

38 min: Williams has to make another crucial challenge as the last man to prevent Mkhitaryan from breaking. You do feel a second United goal would finish this, but until then Everton are certainly keeping them honest.

37 min: Everton have, to be fair, improved massively since that first 15 or 20 minutes. Still a lack of real pace and zest though.

35 min: Pickford slides in adeptly to *just* beat Rashford to the ball and, also, avoid handling it outside the area. It was a beautiful pass by, I think, Mkhitaryan that set him scurrying away.

34 min: A scrappy phase, now. You’d have say that United haven’t turned the screw as they could have. What is Sir Alex, shown sitting next to Mick Hucknall in the directors’ box, thinking?

31 min: A smooth Everton move ends up at Martina’s feet again, but he crosses poorly into Matic with players waiting. He gets another chance to overlap moments later but is adjudged to have pulled Young back.

29 min: Davies dives onto a Martina cross and De Gea saves with his legs from point-blank range … but Davies was offside anyway. That right side is providing them with some joy.

28 min: That might yet prove crucial. Awful error by Keane just as Everton were getting a reasonable foothold – but he was let off!

26 min: What a miss from Lukaku! Keane plays a disastrous square pass in his own half that totally wrong-foots Schneiderlin. Lukaku seizes the ball, surges into the box, commits Williams and has most of the goal to aim at from about 10 yards. He slots it past Pickford, but also wide of the post!

24 min: It’s a bit more open now. United might like to create another opportunity or two, although they now win a free kick when Williams goes in late on Lukaku. It’s just too far out for a crack at goal and Mata’s delivery is cleared with ease by Keane.

21 min: Lukaku flashes a ball across the box from the left, and then can’t reach a Mata cross from the other side. Then Everton break and Rooney has a chance! Martina, a good outlet down that right side, cuts one back towards the edge of the area, and Rooney, taking it first-time on the run, cuts it just past a diving De Gea’s right post! Might have done better!

19 min: Lukaku goes on his first real run and touches it forward to Rashford, breaking on the right of the area. Williams has to get his tackle spot on, or it’s a penalty – and to give him credit, he does.

18 min: United, still overwhelmingly in control if not exactly creating chance after chance, are playing the ball around with some comfort. They’re not being pressed with much ferocity.

15 min: A lovely Rooney touch frees Davies with Martina in a great position on the overlap ahead of him, but the pass is poor. Everton have at least perked up a touch. They then win a free-kick midway inside the United half, which Sigurdsson whips in. Rooney fouls De Gea, though.

13 min: Everton do construct an attack now and Martina delivers well from the right, but Jones gets up to flick the ball away before Rooney – the only player in proximity – can attack it.

12 min: Rooney tries to do something, looking to spread wide for Martina just beyond halfway, but Young is in to intercept and bring the ball forward. There are one or two jeers.

11 min: Mata picks out Young on the left byline but he drills high and beyond the far post. Everton have literally not been in the United half yet. Literally.

9 min: Back to my earlier point, it kind of helps relieve pressure if you field a striker …

8 min: United have really stepped the tempo up now, knowing that a second would be very hard to come back from. A couple of skirmishes in the box lead to a panicky Pickford clearance. Everton are still camped so deep and really can’t get out.

6 min: Quite glad of that, as Everton had come here to dig in and can’t really do that now. That was a once-a-season strike from Valencia, and came from absolutely nothing.

Errrr, nothing slow about that! Matic whips the ball from the left side across the edge of the box, left-footed, with most of the Everton team incredibly deep inside their own area. Valencia, lurking just beyond the corner of the area, takes the ball after it bounces and absolutely thrashes it plum into the far top corner! An absolutely brilliant strike – and what a start for United!

3 min: It is raining hard at Old Trafford. There’s no torrent of attacking movement so far though. It’s been fairly slow United buildup.

1 min: A couple of nice economical early touches from Rooney. That’s a takeaway from the opening minute. The crowd aren’t lingering on him though, it’s strictly business now.

Lukaku kicks off for United, who go right to left.

I mean, I look at the Everton team here and – with the best will to the player Rooney is these days, which is still a fine one – there really isn’t a proper striker. Not really.

The teams are walking out, I’ve already seen at least one Rooney banner in the home end – the reception looks to be a very warm one.

Wayne Rooney has scored 9.7% of Man Utd’s PL goals at Old Trafford. He must be tempted to slot in some hot own goals today to reach that 10%

Statistic.

Michael Cosgrove asks: “So, it’s Rooney’s return to Old Trafford. Will he be welcomed onto the pitch by generous applause reserved for former heroes or the bitter boos that are reserved for traitors?”

I mean, that’s the question isn’t it. Looks like being the former though (as it should be … read Danny Taylor’s excellent piece for more on that).

Interesting, too, how Mourinho – speaking now – refers to Everton’s “five at the back”. He’s done that before, he doesn’t think three at the back is really a thing. I know what he means; in most cases it’s a hedging of bets at very best.

Koeman on a switch to three at the back: “We know how to play this system, we had a good result away at City and we did it several times last season. I think we need a bit more of a compact team and in the last few teams we lost a little bit our strength.”

Rooney on a nice reception when he bowled up earlier: “Of course it was nice but I’m here to try and get a result for Everton, it’s a big game for us and important to try and get something. It’s going to be strange but I’m here with Everton and trying to get a result, obviously I’m with Everton and trying to win. It’s a game of football, 90 minutes on the pitch, everything will be going into trying to get a result for us.”

Reading between the lines, I’d say he’s here with Everton and wants to try and win the game.

So, Everton fans, what’s gone wrong lately? Without Lukaku and, of course, Barkley there just seems little drive and flair. Not enough pace, not enough vim. How big a failure was it not to snare a striker?

Another thing Rooney did as an Everton player at Old Trafford – a matter of weeks before it all kicked off with that goal against Arsenal:

Ok, so Chelsea v Arsenal finished goalless and wasn’t great. Here’s some better warm-up material for you. What did Wayne Rooney do the last time he played at Old Trafford as a visiting player?

Hang on, no, I can’t let this go:

| A first look at our sleeve sponsor, @AngryBirds, as part of our new partnership with @rovio#RedIsABlue pic.twitter.com/bgLg74ov6W

Let me know what you think of those teams – email and Twitter addresses are appended. I’ll talk to you more when Chelsea-Arsenal, currently finely balanced at 0-0, is finished. You can keep up with that here:

Related: Chelsea v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young, Fellaini, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku. Subs: Martial,
Smalling, Lingard, Carrick, Romero, Herrera, Darmian.

Everton: Pickford, Keane, Jagielka, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney. Subs: Sandro, Mirallas, Klaassen, Besic, Stekelenburg, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate.

Wayne’s World. Fountains of Wayne. Wayne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. However you like your Wayne, there’s something for you today – are you an Evertonian, outraged by his departure all those years ago, who has clutched him firmly back to your bosom this time around? Perhaps you’re a United fan who, despite his slow fade over his final couple of seasons, believes he can do no wrong? Perhaps you’re somebody who takes a little from columns A, B and all the others, admiring the good and the bad from a brilliant if complex career that still have a fair few turns left in it.

The latest one, his return to Old Trafford, would have been billed a month or so back as the potential storming of the citadel by a vibrant, new-look Everton lineup led heroically by the man of the moment. Everton started the season reasonably well, Rooney scoring the obvious winner on his league re-debut, but it’s not gone remotely to plan since. A 1-1 draw at Man City – Rooney again – look a better result by the week but everything since has, let’s be honest, been turgid. They were virtually invisible against Chelsea and Tottenham; they were execrable at Atalanta on Thursday night and more of the same would see them take a hiding this afternoon.

Nick will be here shortly.

Continue reading…

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