Three things Everton must improve after disappointing Manchester United loss

Everton Goodison 2

The Blues were disappointing in Saturday's 3-0 loss and must look to improve with Arsenal up next.

Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United was a disappointing one for Everton, as they entirely failed to turn up against Louis van Gaal’s side.

The disappointment was increased by the fact that they had enjoyed an impressive run of form against United in recent seasons, with United's three goals being the first they had scored at Goodison Park in four years.

It was a poor performance from Roberto Martinez’s side from front to back. Their defence looking fragile and Romelu Lukaku struggled to have a significant impact against an impressive Chris Smalling.

The defence

Everton would have been boosted by the return of both John Stones and Seamus Coleman to the first team given their importance to the side. However, both looked off the pace following their injuries and captain Phil Jagielka, who has so far been solid this season, was disappointing as he gifted his opponents the third goal. Work will needed before they take on a rampant Arsenal next.

Set pieces

For the entirety of Roberto Martinez’s reign, Everton have conceded soft goals from set pieces and that trend has continued this season, as United’s opener came from a corner.

At the other end, they rarely challenge the opposition with attacking set pieces either, with Ross Barkley being particularly wasteful with several free kicks on Saturday alone. In the absence of Leighton Baines, they need to find somebody who can produce the goods more consistently.

Passing

Everton were criticised for being too slow with the ball last season, often being described as laborious in their possession. They appeared to have bucked that at the beginning of this season, but their slow, unimaginative passing was back against United, much to the annoyance of the Goodison Park crowd.

While that may have been because of excellent defensive work from the away side, the Blues were often disappointing as they failed to maintain possession from the start of the game. Work will be needed if they wish to be effective against an Arsenal side to who possession is the most important thing.

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