Michael Carrick has admitted Manchester United have not been good enough this season after a ninth home draw saw the club facing an uphill battle to secure a top four place.
Back-to-back draws with West Brom and Everton over the last week has left Jose Mourinho admitting the Red Devils’ best hope of securing Champions League football next season may be by winning the Europa League.
United were a minute away from losing their unbeaten run against Everton – which has now extended to 20 games – until Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an injury-time penalty, but 10 of those results have been draws.
Manchester United 1 Everton 1 player ratings
Manchester United 1 Everton 1 player ratings
1/22 David de Gea – 4 out of 10
So often the saviour, could have done more to prevent Jagielka’s peculiar goal, like closing his legs for starters.
2/22 Ashley Young – 7 out of 10
Offered more offensively than most and tested Everton’s defence with several crosses, but his team-mates failed to make them count.
3/22 Marcos Rojo – 4 out of 10
A more assertive centre-half would have clattered Jagielka and won the header that lead to the goal. Too often, Rojo is not that centre-half.
4/22 Eric Bailly – 6 out of 10
Dealt with Lukaku in the brief moments he threatened United’s backline on a largely quiet night for the hosts’ defence.
5/22 Daley Blind – 5 out of 10
Ineffective going forward first half, hauled off for Paul Pogba at half-time.
6/22 Ander Herrera – 7 out of 10
One of United’s brighter sparks but even so, should have done better than hit the bar when latching onto the rebound of Blind’s first half free-kick.
7/22 Michael Carrick - 6 out of 10
Struggled to have an impact and often too conservative in his passing when United needed a fresh impetus.
8/22 Marouane Fellaini – 4 out of 10
The many United supporters who believe he simply should not be in this team had their arguments boosted. Offers little more than a target on set pieces and a mistimed tackle.
9/22 Jesse Lingard – 4 out of 10
Like Fellaini, a display to fuel his critics. Wasteful in the first-half, largely anonymous in the second.
10/22 Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 5 out of 10
Still misses far too many opportunities for a frontman of his quality. Could have got United off to a perfect start but fluffed his lines.
11/22 Marcus Rashford – 4 out of 10
A night where his relative inexperience showed. Has good grace and plenty of time on his side to improve, at least.
12/22 Joel Robles – 8 out of 10
Recovered from a shaky display in the Merseyside derby to impress. Best save came when acrobatically denying Blind from a free-kick.
13/22 Mason Holgate – 7 out of 10
Mature performance from the youngster. Poked a low cross away from Rashford’s toes to keep it 1-0 towards the end of the first half.
14/22 Phil Jagielka – 7 out of 10
A quite remarkable finish for his goal and coped well defensively, although aided by United’s lack of pace in forward positions.
15/22 Ashley Williams – 4 out of 10
It was all going so well until that late handball. The Wales international wins a lot of plaudits, but this was another mistake in a debut Everton season peppered with them.
16/22 Leighton Baines – 6 out of 10
Played his part in a solid defensive display, but would perhaps have had more problems if facing the rested Antonio Valencia.
17/22 Idrissa Gueye – 6 out of 10
Swept up and stifled United attacks alongside Barry, though Herrera had the better of him at times.
18/22 Gareth Barry – 8 out of 10
The key man in Everton’s backs-to-the-wall resistance, did not mind getting a little dirty. Will have enjoyed one ‘experienced’ challenge on Rashford.
19/22 Tom Davies – 7 out of 10
No doubt buoyed by his new contract, the youngster was much better than at Anfield. Showed movement and intelligence breaking into the final third.
20/22 Ross Barkley – 6 out of 10
Another player who improved from Anfield, but in Barkley’s case it was not hard. If you’re being harsh, showed little creativity, but battled well.
21/22 Kevin Mirallas – 6 out of 10
Brought more invention to the line-up having sat out the majority of the derby. He and Lukaku were not on the same wavelength at times, however.
22/22 Romelu Lukaku – 5 out of 10
At times guilty of not holding the ball up well enough and inviting pressure on his team, but his all-round display was an unselfish one for the cause.
Mourinho has bemoaned bad luck with United hitting the woodwork more often than any other team this season, but Carrick has insisted that they just have not been up to scratch so far.
“I see it as two points dropped,” Carrick said, talking about the Everton draw. “It's not easy when it's not going well, especially after Saturday, but the boys kept trying.
“They kept going and kept going and obviously gave us that goal to give us the point. It's a point but it's nowhere near enough.
“You can't give up on anything and results can go funny ways sometimes.
“We're obviously giving ourselves the tougher task, but we're not giving up.”
Arsenal’s win over West Ham saw United drop back to sixth place and seven points off Manchester City in fourth, although they do have a game in hand over most of their rivals.
United’s goal tally at Old Trafford makes for pitiful reading with their 21 strikes less than that managed by relegation candidates Hull and Swansea.
“We just can't find a way to find that first goal and to break teams down and make it easier for us,” Carrick told MUTV.
“Obviously, it's something you look at and you try to improve on and it's not just an easy thing you can try and just switch on. I'm sure we'll get there. I'm sure we'll improve.
“Generally, the performances have been very good at home. I think it probably wasn't so good (on Tuesday night) but I thought the lads showed character to keep trying things.
“In the end, we got a goal but, yes, it's not enough.”Reuse content