Goodison pain can be turned into Champions League gain

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Manchester United fans can be excused for being left frustrated last Saturday as Everton made a dramatic comeback to snatch a late point at Goodison Park.

The Reds are not used to being on the wrong side of a dramatic comeback but since harsh lessons were not learned from the earlier Fulham draw at Craven Cottage and all credit goes to Everton for finding the chink in United’s armour.

A positive first half from the Toffees kept United on the back foot but the majority of the second half belonged to United. A second half performance became undone due to a lack of concentration and complacency set in to allow Everton back into the game.

Numerous opportunities went astray as United failed to kill off a game that was thought to be dead and buried at 3-1 with two and a half minutes of stoppage time left on the clock.

Everton looked defeated as they gave the ball away easily and lost their earlier swagger and determination before Tim Cahill out jumped Jonny Evans to pull one back for the Toffees. The home crowd then got behind their team and the rest is blue Merseyside history once again at the expense of Manchester United.

Memories of past games came flooding back such as the Liverpool comeback that ended 3-3 in January 1994 but quietly hoping it would relate more to the United-City derby this time last year when Michael Owen sealed victory for the Red Devils in stoppage time. But this time is was not to be and shame on us for not learning our earlier lesson against Fulham.

On the positive side it’s a point more than we walked away with from Goodison Park last season and the consistency of Dimitar Berbatov and Nani has giving United fans renewed hope.

This Tuesday will be a great opportunity for United to put the memories of Goodison Park behind them as they welcome Rangers to Old Trafford. The Champions League is a magical competition with a special place in all United fans hearts as the campaign gets underway to add a 4th European Cup title to the trophy cabinet.

A physical, hard fought game can be expected before United’s fiercest rivals Liverpool are expected at Old Trafford on Sunday where just about anything can happen, so this week can be the perfect week for Manchester United to get back on track.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Dimitar Berbatov
Premier League
Manchester United

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