Manchester United Vs. Everton, Premier League, 2012: Final Score 4-4 After Second Half Goalfest

A second half goalfest threw the title race wide open as Everton fought back from a two goal deficit twice to earn a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford, meaning the Red Devils may have just handed the advantage to Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Manchester United came quickest out the blocks in the second half, and after just 10 minutes in the second period had themselves in front after a wonderful strike from Danny Welbeck.

Antonio Valencia put the initial ball into the box, which after much fumbling and bobbling around was nodded into the path of Welbeck by Luis Nani. Welbeck sold John Hetinga a dummy on the edge of the area before unleashing a delicious curling effort from 18-yards into the top corner.

On 60 minutes, United had their third goal, and it was every bit as lovely as Welbeck's just minutes before hand. Slick one and two touch passing around the edge of the area involving Michael Carrick, Welbeck and Nani lead to the Portuguese winger being clean through to finish with the simplest of chips over the advancing Tim Howard.

It could well have been four when Welbeck smashed into the side netting a minute later, as United moved up through the gears to totally dominate Everton in the second half, who were simply a shadow of themselves in the first half.

Perhaps the United side felt the game was over in the same way the watching public did. They, like us, should have known better as on 66 minutes Marouane Fellaini made it a one goal game again. Tony Hibbert again provided the assist with a low cross into the area, where an unmarked Fellaini smashed the ball low on the volley past a helpless David De Gea from close range.

Steven Pienaar did his best to make it 3-3 just a minute later as a galvanized Everton started to feel they could get something from the game, having been relatively awful in the second half so far.

Just three minutes removed from Fellaini's goal, Manchester United went 4-2 ahead.

Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck had enjoyed a near telepathic partnership all afternoon, and when Welbeck was found in space down the right hand side of Everton's penalty area, his first time cross was on a plate for Rooney who simply swept the ball across Tim Howard restoring the two goal advantage. Rooney, as he was in the first half, fairly subdued in celebration after scoring against his boyhood club.

It could have been 5-2 when Rafael's cross eluded everyone except Patrice Evra who'd bust a gut to get forward at the back post, only for the Frenchman to see his point-blank header crash back off the post.

As said, it should have been 5-2, but just a moment later on 82 minutes, it was 4-3 as Everton hit back in what was a truly incredible game. Nikica Jelavic grabbed his second goal of the game when his low strike found the bottom corner of the net with De Gea unmoved.

Two minutes later, the Toffees fans tucked away in the corner of Old Trafford were in raptures as Steven Pienaar, quite unbelievably, made things level at 4-4 on 84 minutes.

Phil Neville played the ball into Fellaini who was lurking with intent inside the area. The Belgian turned rather than shooting, playing the ball perfectly into the path of Pienaar who poked the ball home from close range, giving the not just the blue half of Merseyside something to cheer, but also the blue half of Manchester.

In a frantic final few minutes, Nikica Jelavic scooped an effort over the bar as he searched for a winning goal and a hattrick goal, while at the other end Jonny Evans was nearly an unlikely hero when he nodded the ball over from close range in stoppage time.

On 94 minutes, an even more unlikely winner nearly stole the points when Rio Ferdinand fired a left-footed volley towards the top of the net only for Howard to claw away just seconds before referee Mike Jones put to bed an amazing game.

For more reaction to this incredible game check out our Manchester United Blog, The Busby Babe, and for an Everton perspective head to Royal Blue Mersey.

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