Football News

Rafa Benitez praises Everton performance; Townsend explains goal celebration

Rafa Benitez says Everton ‘did well’ to pick up a point against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Toffees held Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to a 1-1 draw in the Premier League with a solid team performance. They went behind in the 43rd minute due to Anthony Martial.

The Frenchman, given a rare starting spot, beat Jordan Pickford with a deflected effort.

But Everton did not let their heads go down and came out fighting in the second half. They soon found a deserved equaliser through in-form winger Andros Townsend.

Demarai Gray started a counter-attack and shrugged off Fred to get into a good position. He gave the ball to Abdoulaye Doucoure, who did well to pick out Townsend.

The 30-year-old took one touch before sending a neat finish past David de Gea.

Yerry Mina thought he had bagged a late winner for Everton but was adjudged to be offside when he scored.

After the game, Benitez told BBC Match of the Day: “We played against a very good team. It’s not easy to get a result here and we did well.

“We concede a late goal that maybe we were not expecting but the reaction of the team in the second half was quite good. It’s a pity the last one because it’s offside but it could be even better but we are pleased with the way we played and the result at the end.
“We are doing well. We have some problems with injuries and still the team is working really hard and reacting really well. You can see the team spirit and the fans will appreciate that and the players will appreciate the support of the fans so you can see now we have a very good understanding.”

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Townsend honours opponent with celebration

Townsend has explained his Cristiano Ronaldo-style celebration in the draw.

The Englishman emulated his opponent by performing his trademark jump, although not quite as effectively.

When quizzed on the move, Townsend said: “This guy is my idol. I grew up watching Cristiano Ronaldo. I spent hours on the training pitch trying to execute his techniques, maybe should have spent longer on the celebration because it wasn’t great execution.

“It was a bit of respect to Ronaldo and it was an honour to be on the same pitch as him.”

On the goal, he added: “It was amazing. Demarai doing what he does best, using his pace and power. As soon as Doucoure got it I knew if I kept up with him he would put it in my path.

“Thankfully on this occasion I managed to keep my composure and put it in the bottom corner.”

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