Man United edge 7 goal thriller

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Manchester United survived a superb Everton comeback to edge a thrilling match by four goals to three in the English Premiership on Saturday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Everton's recent record against Manchester United is poor, and they began Saturday's game at Goodison Park as if already expecting another defeat. Wayne Rooney was relegated to the bench. It was in defence that Everton looked bereft, however, United cutting a swathe through the home ranks with virtually every attack. There was no surprise when the first goal came just nine minutes into the game. Mikael Silvestre's long ball found Louis Saha in the clear and onside. He controlled the ball calmly and lashed it past Nigel Martyn. The visitors' second came after 24 minutes. Van Nistelrooy atoned for a glaring third minute miss, rounding Martyn before slotting in his 100th United goal. Four minutes later it was three-nil. Scholes threaded the ball to an unmarked Saha, and he fired across Martyn into the far corner. Rooney, Tomasz Radzinski and Gary Naysmith were introduced after the interval as Everton looked to restore some pride. And the deficit was reduced in the 59th minute, Unsworth stooping low at the far post following Naysmith's corner. Rooney's presence seemed to lift Everton - and he forced the corner, which led to a scrambled second, the ball deflecting off John O'Shea for an own-goal. With a miraculous recovery in sight, the home side launched attack after attack, United looking a pale shadow of the side so dominant in the first half. And Everton were rewarded for their endeavour when Kevin Kilbane headed in the equaliser from Thomas Gravesen's free-kick with 15 minutes remaining. But with 89 minutes on the clock, Everton's hearts were broken as Van Nistelrooy stole in at the far post to power in Cristiano Ronaldo's pinpoint cross. It rounded off a truly superb game - though that will be of no consolation to Everton after such a brave, but ultimately fruitless, comeback. (AP)