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Alejandro Garnacho: Rio Ferdinand praises ‘refreshing’ winger after Man United vs Everton penalties

Alejandro Garnacho’s effectiveness at creating problems for opposition defenders has been “refreshing” for Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand has said.

Winger Garnacho won the penalties which Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford converted to put United 2-0 ahead at the break at home to Everton on Saturday, drawing challenges from James Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey which left former United centre-back Ferdinand unimpressed with the defenders.

“You want your wide players to go against players,” Ferdinand told TNT Sports. “They are two very good defenders – Godfrey, especially, in one-on-ones.

“Jockeying in those positions is key and getting in the line of the ball to prevent a clear shot to goal.

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“They maybe rushed their decisions to go in and looked a bit clumsy but you have to credit Garnacho.

“He’s so elusive in those situations and he’s hard to pin down. It’s the positivity and how direct Garnacho is in these situations; it’s refreshing to see.”

Man United vs Everton: Garnacho shines

United wanted a third penalty when Garnacho’s cutback accidentally struck the hand of Vitalii Mykolenko, and the Argentina forward could have scored shortly before the interval but gave Jarrad Branthwaite time to recover a dire-looking situation for the Toffees.

Academy graduate Garnacho has been almost ever-present for United since November, scoring a spectacular first goal of the campaign that month with an overhead kick in a 3-0 win at Everton.

The 19-year-old has five goals and three assists in 25 top-flight appearances in 2023/24, having scored three and set up two in the league last season.

Sixth-placed United had suffered successive league defeats at home to Fulham and away to Manchester City but Garnacho’s inventiveness put them on course to change that against relegation-threatened Everton.

Rashford’s spot kick was the seventh penalty Everton have conceded this season – the joint-most alongside West Ham.

“Sean Dyche will be disappointed because Everton wouldn’t have had two penalties in their pre-match talk,” said Ferdinand.

“They’ll have been thinking of putting themselves in a better position.”


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