Tim Howard

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

Ghana 1-2 USA

A very early goal from Clint Dempsey and a very late goal from John Brookes Junior won the United States of America their first match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side could not have started better, after just 29 seconds they were ahead. USA burst forward through Clint Dempsey who darted past John Boye with a tidy nutmeg, taking one more touch and then firing low and hard past Adam Kwarasey in off the post.

It was the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history, 19 seconds slower than Hakan Suker’s strike for Turkey in 2002.

Dempsey became the first American to score at three successive World Cups.

Ghana leveled eight minutes before the end thanks to Andre Ayew scoring with the outside of his boot following a Sulley Muntari set-up with a cheeky back heel.

John Brookes Junior scored the dramatic late winner with a powerful downward header with four minutes left on the clock. The German born defender with his first International goal to send USA level on points with his native country in Group E.

USA were dealt a blow after twenty minutes though when Jozy Altidore was stretchered off with a strained left hamstring he picked up while running that put the rest of his tournament in serious doubt.

Goalscorer Dempsey was clattered soon after – taking a boot to the face – a nosebleed followed but, unlike Altidore, could carry on.

Star Spangled Start: USA score in seconds.

Star Spangled Start: USA score in seconds.

Just before that however Ghana started to threaten, first Christian Atsu curled wide and then Asamoah Gyan stung the palms of Tim Howard with a shot from long range on 32 minutes that Everton stopper did well to keep out

The second half started how the first finished – with Ghana on the front foot. Muntari wasn’t far off with a powerful drive and Gyan headed over soon after.

Gyan was largely wasteful throughout, screwing another chance wide on the hour mark.

The Black Stars will feel a slight sense of misfortune at full time as they had 21 shots to America’s eight but they just were not clinical enough and were duly punished.

America meanwhile go into a crucial match against Portugal knowing they are capable of winning games without particularly playing well and may take confidence from the 2002 in South Korea/Japan where they overcame Portugal’s so called “Golden Generation 3-2. A side that included the likes of Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Sergio Conceicao.