A Casemiro masterclass – Everton 1-2 Manchester United

After joining from Real Madrid at the back end of August, Casemiro has had to bide his time before making a full debut for Manchester United in the Premier League.

There are a number of factors as to why Casemiro has not started for United this season, with one of the key reasons being the excellent performances of Scott McTominay pre-Man City. 

Such were the performances from the United academy graduate, that it made it difficult to drop him as he was part of a team that recorded four straight wins prior to the derby day defeat by City.



McTominay performed well when in and out of possession, and during one of his games against Arsenal, he recorded a 100% passing accuracy, highlighting that he is advancing his game under Erik Ten Hag.

What this has meant is that the five-time Champions League winner has only been restricted to games in the Europa League and substitute appearances in the Premier League, as the United manager aimed to slowly integrate the Brazilian into his style of play.

Much to the delight of the United fans on social media, they were delighted when it was announced that Casemiro was named in the starting lineup to take on Everton at Goodison Park.

The plan to hand Casemiro a full Premier League debut was on the cards after the City performance, as when he came on to the pitch, it allowed United to get some sort of control, albeit they were heavily beaten, but Casemiro was important in allowing United to get up the pitch and sustain attacks.

Playing away at Goodison Park, where the crowd is on top of you, and having to deal with long balls at times, it can be a tricky stadium to make your Premier League debut in. Could Casemiro pass this assignment unscathed?

The 30-year-old started but struggled early on. Inside his first five minutes he was at fault for the Everton opener, as he was dispossessed by the onrushing Amadou Onana, who hunted the ball down and pressured Casemiro.

He won the ball back and that allowed him to play in Alex Iwobi, who produced a superb curling strike beyond the stretching David De Gea from just outside the box to give Everton an early lead.

It perhaps served Casemiro as a reminder that the intensity of the Premier league is a different kettle of fish altogether from La Liga, as he may have perhaps had more time on the ball in Spain to turn and play that pass out.

It is a lesson to the Brazilian that you must at all times stay switched on.

Once Casemiro got the mistake out of his system, he showed everyone why he is talked about in the calibre that he is as he displayed excellent anticipation, passing, and vision, which is everything that you want in a defensive midfielder. 

The latter attributes were on show from the former Real Madrid man as he picked out another of his former Real Madrid colleagues, as his line-breaking pass found Cristiano Ronaldo on the Everton right, who slotted home from his left foot past Jordan Pickford to give United the lead.

Casemiro also showed his anticipation qualities as from the Opta stats, it was recorded that he won the ball back nine times, and this proved crucial in one sequence of phases as he read the intentions of Alex Iwobi, and cut the pass to play in Ronaldo for his 700th career goal.

Perhaps, for Ronaldo, it was fitting that Casemiro was the provider as he enjoyed a positive relationship with the Portuguese during their time in Spain together.

Casemiro’s passing abilities allowed United to dominate and dictate the tempo of the game as according to the Opta stats he made 70 passes, which was only bettered by United’s best ball-playing centre back in Lissandro Martinez.

Such were the possession skills of Casemiro, United had 61% possession during the game, which is the most they have recorded since the Brentford defeat back in August where they were trounced 4-0.

However, it was noticeable that Casemiro is a risk taker on the ball, as he liked to play passes between the lines to create attacking options and chances.

This means that from time to time, he is expected to lose the ball as he is looking to take risks. He lost the ball 17 times, which was two more than Christian Eriksen and Martinez.

Even though Casemiro should attempt those passes, the main aim for him will be to ensure his passing accuracy is there and at all times give United an option to pass, when looking to play out from the back. 

The Brazilian should get more opportunities to improve as he gets used to his team-mates, and he is almost certain to make his full Old Trafford debut at home to Newcastle next Sunday, as McTominay is suspended for the game, having picked up five yellow cards. 

It is fair to say that Casemiro passed the Goodison Park assignment with flying colours as he was awarded the Player of the Match by BT Sport, and hopefully there is even more to come. 

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