Fernandes and Rashford score in Man Utd’s 2-0 win vs Everton Loop Jamaica

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Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho, right is fouled by Everton’s Ben Godfrey, centre, who gave away a penalty during an English Premier League football match at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, March 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson).

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford converted first-half penalties won by Alejandro Garnacho as Manchester United beat Everton 2-0 on Saturday to recover from back-to-back Premier League losses that had jeopardised their Champions League qualification hopes.

Fernandes tucked away his spot kick in the 12th minute for his first home goal since August after James Tarkowski clipped the leg of Garnacho just inside the area.

The Portugal midfielder then handed over penalty duties to Rashford after Garnacho went down under a rash lunge by Ben Godfrey. Rashford slotted his kick into the corner after a stuttered run-up to double the lead in the 36th.

Sixth-place United, which were coming off losses to Fulham and Manchester City in the league, trimmed the gap to Tottenham in fifth to three points. Spurs, which play fourth-place Aston Villa in a crucial match on Sunday, have two games in hand on United.

United will be hoping the Premier League has five places — rather than the current four — in next season’s expanded Champions League format. An extra berth will be determined by English clubs’ overall performance in European competition this season.

“Now every game, the manager said, is a final,” said Garnacho, a 19-year-old Argentine winger who was a persistent danger on the counterattack. “We have to win every single game, we’re Manchester United.”

Everton, which started the match at Old Trafford five points clear of the relegation zone, had more shots than United (23 to 15) but many were from long range and few seriously troubled goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Sean Dyche’s team is now winless in 11 league games stretching back to Dec 16, while its situation could soon get worse if the Premier League decides to hand the club another sanction for breaching the competition’s financial rules. Everton have already been docked six points this season for overspending.

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