Manchester United suffered another blow to their flickering hopes of a top-four finish; Everton breathed life into their chances of Premier League survival as Anthony Gordon's deflected strike secured a 1-0 home win at a raucous Goodison Park
Saturday 9 April 2022 23:03, UK
David de Gea described Manchester United's 1-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Everton as "a disgrace" after their season reached a new low at Goodison Park.
The United goalkeeper pulled no punches after seeing a deflected Anthony Gordon goal inflict his side's third defeat in five matches - a run which includes just one win - and further dent their top-four hopes.
"It's a disgrace from us, to be honest, we should win the game," De Gea told BT Sport.
"We don't create, that's the problem. We don't even create proper chances to score. I don't know what to say, to be honest.
"We're not good enough, that's for sure. It's going to be very difficult now to be in the top four."
United, who last played a week ago as they drew 1-1 with Leicester, were outfought by Everton despite the hosts having just two full days of recovery following Wednesday's crushing 3-2 defeat to relegation rivals Burnley.
"We knew before they were struggling, but how difficult it is to play here even when they are not in a good mood, but they play with more desire," he said.
"They played on Wednesday, they were tired, they were a bit nervous, you could feel it, and even with that we lose the game.
"Of course it's not the perfect atmosphere. But you could see they were tired, they were nervous, and come on, they keep going and keep fighting to win. They had more desire than us. That is not acceptable, and it's very sad to lose today."
United boss Ralf Rangnick said after the game the top four looks difficult to achieve now following a run of one win in five Premier League games.
"If you don't score a single goal in 95 minutes we have to be disappointed. We had a good start and should have created more chances out of that domination. Then we concede a deflected shot and lost a bit of our composure.
"The second half we were trying to add creativity with substitutions but we didn't always take the right decision.
"We had to do something. We needed a goal and we decided to bring Mata and more verticality with Elanga. They were defending with their players in the last 35 minutes. We didn't find the right player at the right moment. We didn't have enough players in the box when we played crosses."
"It's not only creativity. I think we had enough creative players on the pitch. It's also about being physical enough in the final third, being physical and trying to score a goal. We didn't have enough players in the box."
On United's top-four hopes, he added: "It's difficult. As long as we don't win our own games it doesn't make sense to hope for good results from the other teams.
"Fred had some muscular problems on his hip flexor. We already are without McTominay. Without both defensive midfielders it isn't good for us."
The imminent announcement of Ten Hag could well be viewed as an unwanted distraction for Rangnick, but he said: "I don't think this should be an excuse. We are Manchester United. We have lots of international players. There shouldn't be an alibi. There will be a new manager next season. If this is announced now or in 10 days it shouldn't have an impact."
Sky Sports' Ben Grounds at Goodison Park.
This high-stakes clash was the polar opposite to the encounter between Liverpool and Manchester's other club this weekend. Man City vs Liverpool represents a meeting of two of the game's greatest minds, a masterpiece between the league's title protagonists in a class of their own.
By contrast, Goodison Park hosted a festival of the doomed involving two clubs in desperate need of a reset. But Everton are not dead. This was a step in the right direction.
It was this month three years ago that they produced arguably their best performance of the Farhad Moshiri era against Manchester United, outclassing them 4-0 to provoke a memorable rebuke from Gary Neville.
The defeat exposed all the problems facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A fifth successive away defeat for the first time since 1981 would contribute to their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
"I've often said that clubs over the last seven years, if you've got weeds in the garden, then you've got to get rid of them," said Neville.
"But there's some Japanese knotweed at that football club and it's attacking the foundations of the house. It needs dealing with properly."
So much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same at United, who look no closer to competing for the big prizes.
April 16 - Norwich (h)
April 19 - Liverpool (a), live on Sky Sports
April 23 - Arsenal (a)
May 2 - Brentford (h), live on Sky Sports
May 7 - Brighton (a), live on Sky Sports
May 15 - Chelsea (h), live on Sky Sports *
May 22 - Crystal Palace (a)
*Subject to change due to FA Cup final