As two of just three Premier League ever-presents based in the North West, Everton and Manchester United have had some truly memorable scraps down the years. This September will mark ten years since one of them played out, as Everton snatched a draw after going into stoppage time trailing 3-1 to the Red Devils.
Match Summary: Everton 3-3 Manchester United – 11 September 2010
Today, Mikel Arteta – as we all know – will be busy next season trying to improve Arsenal’s betting odds to win the Premier League, despite going into June 2020 as the Premier League’s least-experienced manager. Doing that successfully will rely on him emulating not only the style and panache of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but also the sense of grit and determination championed by David Moyes, who brought him to Everton as a mere 22-year old in 2005.
Arteta embodied both sets of managerial ideals ten years ago, when he slotted home Everton’s equaliser in the final minute of added time to send Goodison Park into delirium.
That goal made him the last of six different players to score on the day, and we’re looking back on what happened to them since, and who made the most of their career thereafter… but not until we’ve had a recap of that amazing match!
This is how events unfolded:
In fighting back, Everton avoided equalling their worst-ever return from the first four games of a new Premier League season. They went on to finish seventh, recording memorable victories over Liverpool and Chelsea, alongside a league double over FA Cup winners Manchester City, and a first win at Newcastle in nearly ten years.
Manchester United, of course, went on to win their 19th league title, and break Liverpool’s existing record.
The goalscorers: What happened next?
Opening goalscorer Steven Pienaar departed for Tottenham in the summer following the 3-3 draw. He cut a forlorn figure across his ten appearances for the London outfit, leading to him rejoining Everton in 2012, and it was as if he had never been away. Today, Pienaar is the club’s international brand ambassador, striking a blow for Everton in parts of the world where Liverpool, Manchester United and London’s traditional ‘big two’ are dominant.
Despite netting the equaliser with great composure Darren Fletcher’s goal at Goodison was one of only two he bagged in the league that term. The following year he would miss the entire second half of the season on medical grounds, but returned in 2012/13, and did his bit to ensure that Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford ended with a 20th league title. Inevitably, he faded from the agenda under subsequent managers, and would ultimately end up hitting the midlands. He brought a new quality mark for passing across spells with West Bromwich (2015-2017) and Stoke (2017-2019). His future as a player is uncertain as of June 2020.
United’s next goalscorers Nemanja Vidic and Dimitar Berbatov parted company in 2012, with Vidic staying on to win United’s last Premier League title to date – his third overall with the club – before transferring to Inter Milan in 2014. No honours were forthcoming at Inter though, with Vidic having already proven himself more than sufficiently.
Berbatov, meanwhile, became a journeyman. He joined Fulham in 2012, but moved to Monaco in January 2014 on a free transfer. Though firmly in his twilight years by then, Berbatov had one last pop at Arsenal – sworn enemies of his first Premier League club Tottenham – scoring at the Emirates Stadium in a Champions League match, helping Monaco to a 3-1 win in North London.
The 2010/11 campaign would be Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta’s sixth and final full season as midfield partners at Everton. Arteta went first, leaving in the 2011 summer transfer window to ply his trade for Arsenal, where he would remain as a player until his retirement in 2016. It was with Arsenal that Arteta finally won English honours, with consecutive FA Cup triumphs in 2014 and 2015.
Cahill, meanwhile, stayed until the end of 2011/12, infamously being red carded in his very final seconds as an Everton player. The Australian midfielder then became a real jet-setter, firstly scoring 14 goals across 62 appearances for New York Red Bulls (2012-15) and then became a ‘one-in-three’ scorer across spells with Shanghai and Hangzhou (45 apps, 15 goals).
A short spell with Millwall, after returning to England in 2018 did much to restore the Lions’ spirit – ultimately helping them to survive an EFL Championship relegation battle. Indian club Jamshedpur remains his most recent calling yet, but with Cahill making media appearances at Everton’s live matches since leaving, there is the feeling that he is not yet finished with the club that truly stole his heart.
Though United dropped two points, the title went to Old Trafford (pictured above) for the fourth time in five years.
Which goalscorer did best overall?
A lot of that depends on the bias that comes from club loyalty and nationality, and of those that have formally retired, all are relatively new to their post-playing lives. However, it is difficult to look past Mikel Arteta as the man currently standing out amongst the six goalscorers on that frantic afternoon a decade ago.
Arteta has undoubtedly steadied the ship at Arsenal, giving the Gunners – particularly young talents like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli – a newfound sense of purpose. Thus, from an English perspective at least, Arteta in particular can certainly consider the last ten years of his life to be time well spent.