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IT’S generally accepted that to combat a hostile environment you require the coolness and wisdom of experience.

Not so for Manchester United, who overcame the sustained rage of Goodison Park thanks to the brilliance of teenagers Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo.

As Evertonians vented their fury at an unprecedented ten-point deduction for breaching financial rules, 19-year-old Garnacho produced a stunning early bicycle kick which was not just a goal-of-the-season contender but one of the greatest strikes in Premier League history.

And 18-year-old midfielder Mainoo, making his full Premier League debut in a raucous bear-pit, produced a performance of uncommon composure, including a crucial goal-line clearance.

Marcus Rashford’s penalty and an Anthony Martial goal then eased United towards their biggest win of the season, and a third straight league success ahead of Wednesday’s critical Champions League visit to Galatasaray.

Hell hath no fury like a Scouser scorned and before their team’s first match since being hit with such a draconian punishment, Evertonians proved it.

They staged protest marches, brandished pink cards claiming Premier League corruption and booed of the competition’s pre-match anthem as roars of defiance rang out from every side of Goodison.

The air-raid warning sounded before Everton’s Z Cars walk-on theme has been particularly apt since Sean Dyche took over, but more so than ever since the club were penalised for breaching profit and sustainability rules, plunging them into the relegation places despite six wins from nine matches in all competitions.

In normal circumstances, Merseysiders against Mancs might have been motivation enough but now it was ‘us against the world’, with Everton raging against the machine.

Siege mentalities in football are often the products of a manager’s imagination but in this case Everton’s sense of victimisation, after a punishment widely felt to be disproportionate, was very real.

United, who now hope to keep their European hopes alive on a trip to their original ‘Welcome To Hell’ destination of Istanbul, were braced for a fire and brimstone at Goodison.

Ten Hag welcomed back Luke Shaw from a lengthy injury but was still battered by injuries, the stricken Rasmus Hojlund replaced by Martial up front and Stockport lad Mainoo handed a first league start.

Inside three minutes, though, the din inside Goodison was temporarily silenced by United’s extraordinary opener.

Victor Lindelof picked out Rashford with an excellent diagonal pass and the England forward slipped the ball to Diogo Dalot on the overlap.

The full-back cut it back to Garnacho who back-pedalled and contorted himself in the air to let rip from 16 yards, the Argentinian’s shot flying past Jordan Pickford and crashing into the far corner of the net.

It was similar, but technically even better, than Wayne Rooney’s famous strike in a Manchester derby.

After ten minutes, the Evertonians unleashed their fury with a co-ordinated pink-card display and chants of ‘Premier League, corrupt as f***’ before a volley of fireworks was detonated outside the stadium.

United were unperturbed, though, Shaw whistling a half-volley narrowly over from outside the area, Ashley Young booked for a second heavy challenge on Garnacho.

Ten Hag, banned from touchline and flat-capped in the stands, was looking content.

Abdoulaye Doucore followed Young into the book of ref John Brooks for complaining that Garnacho hadn’t been cautioned for kicking the ball away after a free-kick award.

Then came a sustained spell of Everton pressure.

First, Dominic Calvert-Lewin sent a free header straight at Andre Onana.

Dwight McNeil’s follow-up effort cannoned off Onana and Harry Maguire before Mainoo dived to hook it off the line to safety – a crucial intervention from a kid who was so polished throughout.

Then Doucoure skewed his shot wide after McNeil had squared to offer an excellent opportunity for an equaliser.

Before the break, Calvert-Lewin headed over from a Young cross and then made space for Idrissa Gueye, who fell as he shot wide.

United were rocked back on to the ropes but saved by the half-time bell.

And soon after the break, Evertonian howls of derision against officialdom increased in volume when VAR Chris Kavanagh awarded United a penalty.

Brooks initially booked Martial for a dive but Young had stuck a leg out to make contact, so Kavanagh sent the ref to his monitor and the decision was overturned.

Skipper Bruno Fernandes handed the ball to Rashford who crashed his spot-kick past England team-mate Pickford.

Young escaped a second yellow for his offence and almost immediately Gueye rocketed a shot towards the top corner but Onana produced an outstanding save to push over.

Rashford, looking rejuvenated after slump in form, centred for Garnacho who shot into the side-netting.

Garnacho and Mainoo were then withdrawn on 72 minutes and soon it was 3-0 with a goal started and finished by Martial.

First, the Frenchman picked out sub Facundo Pellistri, who squared for Fernandes to provide the cute angled pass for Martial to dink over Pickford for his ninth goal against Everton.

It was a United performance so cool, it made hell freeze over.

It was an afternoon of pain and glory for Garnacho as he netted a sensational opener and was sent reeling by this Ashley Young challenge.
United keeper Andre Onana foiled this effort from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Toffees’ supporters held a mass protest at Goodison.

 

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