Manchester United Vs. Everton, Premier League, 2012: 1-1 At Halftime In Very Even Contest

Manchester United haven't had it all their own way in the first half as for long periods Everton were on top of the game, goals from Nikica Jelavic and Wayne Rooney have made the score 1-1 at the half way point.

Despite the fact Manchester United are only two wins away from the Premier League title, it was a subdued start to the game at Old Trafford, where visitors Everton actually enjoyed the lions share of the chances and possession in the opening throws of the game.

After only four minutes, Nikica Jelavic squandered a great chance to give the Toffees the lead. Latching on to Leon Osman's through ball, the Croatian striker drifted wide of Rio Ferdinand, but his shot was easy for David De Gea to fall on.

Osman himself drove wide only a minute later as the home side seemed rattled, while Jelavic often found himself in plenty of space despite being the lone front man.

For the Red Devils, Luis Nani curled a low effort wide of Tim Howard's goal on 18 minutes, but aside from that, chances were few an far between for the home side in a very even opening half hour.

As the first half wore on, Darron Gibson fired a trademark strike from distance with his unfavorable left foot which had De Gea scrambling despite the fact it always seemed to be drifting wide of the goal.

Everton had been the better side, and when they took the lead on 33 minutes you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who'd say they didn't deserve it. Tony Hibbert's deep cross was met beyond the far post, at a very acute angle, by Jelavic who just cushioned the header with precision over De Gea and into the corner of the goal.

This seemed to finally wake United up, and Paul Scholes nearly had them level within a minute. Chaos from a Wayne Rooney corner saw the ball eventually land in Scholes territory just outside the area, and the powerful drive took a few deflections before Howard just managed to get a hand on it as he dived the wrong way.

On 40 minutes, the home side were level as Rooney nodded in his first goal in six games. Nani's inward swinging cross was met by the Scouse striker who had eluded Phil Neville inside the six-yard box for an easy finish.

Danny Welbeck's header in first half stoppage time could have given the home side the lead, but at the half way point we're all level at Old Trafford.

Follow the game from a Manchester United perspective on our MUFC Blog, The Busby Babe, or from an Everton one on our EFC Blog, Royal Blue Mersey.

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