Darron Gibson

Manchester United 2-1 Everton

Manchester United overcame Everton 2-1 at Old Trafford to secure back to back home league wins for the first time since November 2013.

Louis Van Gaal’s marquee summer signings won the game for his side with Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao scoring either side of Steven Naismith’s header.

Di Maria opened the scoring with 27 minutes played, sweeping in from just inside the area, assisted by Juan Mata after Phil Jagielka could not efficiently clear a cross from the right.

Naismith lost his marker Rafael to head home Everton’s equalizer from Leighton Baines’ cross 11 minutes into the second half but Falcao’s first goal for Manchester United seven minutes later proved to be the winner.

The Colombian was on his toes to pounce on Di Maria’s low shot and beat Tim Howard who had little chance of keeping it out.

Angel of the North: Di Maria celebrates his goal.

Angel of the North: Di Maria celebrates his goal.

It could have been an entirely different story however as Baines had a penalty saved in first half stoppage time.

Tony Hibbert was brought down in the box by Luke Shaw but David De Gea saved the spot-kick which was too near the centre of the goal.

United were worthy of their win however, putting Everton on the back foot from the off. Howard having to deny a Falcao header just four minutes in.

They started the second half with the same velocity, Di Maria’s miscued shot was almost turned in by Falcao from close range but there was too much speed on it.

Everton did fashion chances of their own however. Jagielka had a header cleared off the line by Falcao from a corner before a late flurry of chances.

Substitute Leon Osman forced a superb save by De Gea in the closing stages before fellow second half sub Bryan Oviedo’s effort from the edge of box was somehow tipped over the bar by the Spaniard.

Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, McNair, Rojo, Shaw (Blackett ’71), Blind, Valencia (Fellaini ’78), Di Maria, Mata, Falcao (Wilson ’73), Van Persie

Subs not used:  Lindegaard, Thorpe, Fletcher, Januzaj

Everton: Howard, Hibbert (Browning ’77), Jagielka, Stones, Baines, Barry, Besic, Pienaar (Oviedo ’64), McGeady (Osman ’77), Naismith, Lukaku

Subs not used: Joel, Gibson, Eto’o, Alcaraz

Man of the match: Angel Di Maria

Georgia 1-2 Republic of Ireland

Martin O’Neill’s first competitive game as Republic of Ireland manager ended in a 1-2 win over a spirited Georgia side. 

Aiden McGeady won the game for the Irish, hitting a brace, one in either half, his second coming in second half added time.

He gave the Irish the lead 24 minutes into the match but a stunning goal by Tornike Okriashvili 14 minutes later pegged them back.

Okriashvili, who plays his club football for Racing Genk in Belgium, hit a long range dipping shot past a despairing David Forde and for a while looked to ensure that the hosts would not finish their opening game empty handed.

It was not the case though as McGeady back with an impressive winner in the 90th minute – a clever turn of feet on the edge of the area and then accurately scoring with his left foot.

Ireland’s first came somewhat against the run of play, Jon Walters’ header from Forde’s goal kick set up James McCarthy who exploited a gap in the Georgian defence to tee up his Everton colleague.

McGeady then had the relatively simple task of finishing past Giorgi Loria in the Georgia goal.

AMG

Georgia: Loria (Kvaskhvadze ’45), Lobzhanidze, S Kverkvelia, Kashia, Khubutia, Kankava, Daushvili, Gelashvili, Ananidze (Targamadze ’63), Okriashvili (Mchedlidze ’88), D Kverkvelia

Subs not used: Migineishvili, Grigalava, Ebralidze, Khmaladze,  Kobakhidze, Kazaishvili, Dzarla, Rekhviashvili

Republic of Ireland: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, Wilson, Ward, Walters, McCarthy (Meyler ’90), Whelan, Quinn (Brady ’76), McGeady, Keane (Long ’76)

Subs not used: Given, Elliot, Keogh, Pilkington, Pearce, Gibson, Hoolahan, Murphy, Doyle

Man of the match: Aiden McGeady