|Demarai Gray wheels off in celebration after scoring Everton's shock equalizer at the Etihad on Saturday. It ended 1-1. (Photo credit: ESPN)|
Manchester United and Wolves had all the reasons in the World to leave it all on the pitch and they both did. The team news as revealed by Erik Ten Hag on the final day of 2022 shocked everyone as arguably the most in-form player at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford was left out for disciplinary reasons.
It was later revealed that Rashford was late for a team meeting and Ten Hag wasn’t having it; it was however the man on a punishment that came on at halftime to bail out the team when it was looking even with Wolves giving nothing away.
Wolves threw everything at United in the closing stages but resolute defending with David De Gea at his usual best kept them at bay to send United to the top four for the first time this season albeit at least until Spurs play on Sunday.
Manchester City was held by Everton at the Etihad Stadium; it has to go down as a loss for the champions because it was on a day everyone tipped them to hammer a struggling Everton side; City now sit seven points off the top after Arsenal won at Brighton later on New Year’s Eve.
Erling Haaland scored the opener with a simple finish after some neat work by Riyad Mahrez but huffed and puffed from then on till Demarai Gray stunned the whole ground with his trademark top-corner finish midway into the second half.
City threw everything forward but Everton stood firm to earn a point that tastes more like three points and handed Frank Lampard a breather after a difficult run of games. City’s next game is away at Stamford Bridge, they can’t afford to slip further.
Newcastle stumbled at home to Leeds United but it was not for lack of effort. The Toon army gave their all but Illan Meslier wouldn’t be beaten. The goalless draw means they couldn’t capitalize on City’s slip-up and now sit nine points off Arsenal at the top, still laudable considering where they were last term.