Everton boss Ronald Koeman has perfectly explained that Manchester United’s lack of intensity in pressing the ball made them easier to confront than fierce rivals Liverpool.
The Toffees were dubbed as ‘unlucky’ to leave Old Trafford with only a point on Tuesday evening, as they saw a hard-fought victory denied by a last-gasp Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty. Though disappointing, the result did at least boost Everton’s confidence after their 3-1 defeat at Anfield to Liverpool.
Having witnessed his side face both teams in the space of four days, Koeman had the knowledge to answer what the differences between the two opponents are, and when pressed on the matter, the Dutchman said the Red Devils were easier to play against.
“You know United are strong, they have individual qualities, but it isn’t a team who will from the start press, press, press. They have a different system and still a strong team, really good players, but you get more time and you will have more ball possession, it’s different.”
Koeman’s comments will only add salt to the growing frustration around Old Trafford, as Tuesday’s draw meant they have now drawn nine of their 15 home league matches this term.
Despite enjoying a 20-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho’s men are now four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and with a fixture pile-up ahead, they look likely to miss out on the top four.
While Mourinho continues to lament refereeing decisions and the attitude of some of his players, it now seems he can rather address his team’s ball pressing ability in order to find a way to make his team harder to play against.