Paul Pogba is not yet prepared to commit to Manchester United, insisting "let's see what happens" when it comes to his future.

The midfielder impressed on Thursday as France came from 2-0 down to beat Belgium 3-2 in a gripping Nations League semi-final at the Allianz Stadium, his old Juventus stomping ground.

Pogba has been linked persistently with a move away from United, with a return to Juve or a switch to Real Madrid deemed the most likely.

Recent reports in France had suggested he could extend his Red Devils contract, which expires at the end of the season, after the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho left him more convinced of the club's ambition.

However, speaking after the thrilling victory over Belgium, Pogba told Sport Mediaset: "I always talk to my former team-mates, like Paulo [Dybala]. I'm at Manchester United, I still have a year on my contract, and then we'll see.

"I want to finish [the season] well there, and then let's see what happens."

Belgium led 2-0 at half-time in Turin through Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku before the world champions produced a stirring turnaround.

Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe levelled the scores and Theo Hernandez blasted home a 90th-minute winner, as France recovered to win a match after trailing 2-0 at the break for the first time since a friendly victory over Iceland in 2012.

"We started very well: 25 minutes of quality with the ball, then, with their players, they were very good on the counter-attack," said Pogba.

"We sat back and conceded two goals very quickly, stopping playing with the ball. It was another game in the second half. We played like France.

"It was a very good match. I'm happy with the game we played. The second half was really good."

Antoine Griezmann, who won the penalty from which Mbappe equalised, said some stern half-time discussions and the efforts of France's front two were key to their revival.

"I am very proud of the players, the group and the coaches," he told TF1.

"We started well in the first 30 minutes. After that, we were too deep, we couldn't get out and at half-time, everyone had the right words and we came out in a different fashion.

"We went looking for them and Kylian and Karim had an amazing match. They did us good by scoring, by making a difference. It was a fantastic match."

Tammy Abraham is glad he did not take the "easy option" by staying at Chelsea and is grateful for the trust put in him by Jose Mourinho since making the switch to Roma.

The 24-year-old joined Roma in a €40million (£34m) deal two months ago after struggling for playing time upon Thomas Tuchel's arrival at Stamford Bridge in January.

He has two goals and two assists from his first seven games with the Serie A side and has been hailed for embracing life in a new country, instantly making him a fan favourite.

Abraham had been on Chelsea's books since 2004, but he made just 82 appearances between his senior debut in May 2016 and his departure this August.

And after three separate spells out on loan, the England international was persuaded to leave west London on a permanent basis by ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho.

"I had different options," Abraham said. "So many clubs I was speaking to at the time.

"I spoke to Jose. He had a goal. I could see where he wanted Roma to go, and see where he wants to take them and I wanted to be part of the process.

"He really put his trust in me so he was a big impact on the reason why I chose Roma.

"I picked up the phone and he was like, 'Do you want to enjoy some sun or stay in the rain?'

"I have learned so much tactically – as much as I have in my entire lifetime. It is good. You need to learn off different managers. Right now, I am learning a lot."

Abraham was given a run in the Chelsea side in the first half of last season, scoring 11 goals in 25 games up until Tuchel's appointment on January 26.

The former Aston Villa loanee was used only seven times by Tuchel, however, adding one more goal to his tally to finish as joint-top scorer alongside Timo Werner (12 each).

Reflecting on the second half of 2020-21, Abraham said: "At first it's quite tough to deal with. 

"You've gone from playing regularly to not being in the mix and not even making the bench sometimes. I got to a point where I had to sit down and talk to myself.

"I was going out to train and I was doing it for me. I was going to train to better myself because it's easy to throw a strop, to be angry around the place, to be a bad egg. 

"For me, it was the opposite. I learned about myself and that strengthened my mindset. I was with the team whenever they needed me. 

"Players like Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi – the players younger than me – I kind of had to lift them and be their support, help them and encourage them.

"I had an ambition and a goal that I set myself and it was to go out there and be the best I can be, to prove to everyone my true abilities.

"The easy option would've been to stick around and sit down. Chelsea's a massive club, they will compete and try to win trophies, so the easy option would’ve been to do that.

"I realised that I needed to go out and prove myself. I took a decision and it was the right one."

Abraham was a late addition to the England squad this week for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Andorra and Hungary.

Jesse Lingard is another who is back in Gareth Southgate's plans after being overlooked for Euro 2020 squad selection, and the Manchester United attacker is motivated to hold down his place in the side.

"It gives you more hunger and motivation to be playing in the biggest of tournaments and games," he said when asked about missing out on England's run to the European Championship final.

"It's always hard. Considering where I was for a period of time, not playing as much and not in the England squad, to get into the 33-man squad shows what you can do with hard work and belief.

"I was disappointed to miss out but I was still there supporting the boys through thick and thin. “They had a great chance after getting into the final, but we have to move on quickly and prepare for the new season."

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw hailed the impact Cristiano Ronaldo has had on the Red Devils' mentality since returning to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo returned to United in August – via stops at Real Madrid and Juventus – to end a 12-year absence with the club, having first made his Premier League debut in 2003 under Alex Ferguson.

The Portugal captain has hit the ground running since then, scoring five times across the top flight and the Champions League, including a stoppage-time winner against Villarreal.

And Shaw says the character of Ronaldo, who made his 200th Premier League appearance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side against Everton, is positively impacting his team-mates.

"You know the star he is, what he has been doing over a number of years, it is just unbelievable to be in a dressing room with him," Shaw told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"You see the way he conducts himself, how professional he is. It's clear to me why he has been at the top for so many years.

"His mentality is second to none. I think he has really improved that in and around the changing room."

United have been slightly erratic in their performances, however, as they are two points off top-flight leaders Chelsea after being beaten at home by Aston Villa and drawing with Everton in their last two league games.

Ronaldo, meanwhile, has remained in scintillating form and currently sits on 87 Premier League goals for Solskjaer's men.

The United head coach himself managed 84 goals in his first 200 top-flight outings, with Wayne Rooney leading the way on 93 – apart from that pair, no other player netted more than 47 (Paul Scholes) in their opening double century for the club..

Paul Pogba's future with Manchester United has been a constant point of speculation for the past few years.

The 2018 World Cup winner is into the last season of a five-year deal with the Red Devils.

Pogba has been on United's books since returning from Juventus in 2016.

TOP STORY – POGBA TO PEN BUMPER NEW DEAL

Paul Pogba has decided he wants to extend his stay with Manchester United, claims L'Equipe.

The French midfielder has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, as well as return to Juventus.

Pogba's renewal is expected to command one of the highest salaries in Premier League history.

ROUND-UP

- AS reports that Borussia Dortmund will double Erling Haaland's salary in a bid to ward off interest from Spanish pair Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as Manchester City and Chelsea. Dortmund will bump the Norwegian's wages up from €8million to €15m in order to keep him, with the release clause in his contract to activate next off-season.

- Former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is to be put up for sale by Juventus, according to the Daily Mail. Juve are ready to listen to offers for the Wales midfielder, who has fallen out of favour in Turin.

- Liverpool have entered the race to sign Fiorentina's Serbian forward Dusan Vlahovic, according to the Mirror. Vlahovic's contract talks with Fiorentina have collapsed.

- Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks is willing to make a January loan move away from Spurs and is open to moving abroad, claims The Times.

- Calciomercato reports that River Plate's 21-year-old Argentina international Julian Alvarez is drawing attention from city rivals Inter and Milan .

- French defender Samuel Umtiti will be made available in January by financially-embattled Barcelona, reports Sport. Umtiti has not played in LaLiga this season.

Manchester United's owners have put 9.5million shares up for sale as they look to relinquish eight per cent of their controlling stake.

The club released a statement to the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, confirming the sales will be made in the names of Kevin and Edward Glazer.

It is thought the sale of the shares in question will raise £137.12m, though United's statement made clear that 100 per cent of the money will be kept by the Glazers.

"Manchester United will not receive any proceeds from the sale of any Class A ordinary shares by the selling shareholders," it read.

Joel Glazer, United co-chairman, had promised at a fan forum back in June that the club were planning to offload more shares, potentially allowing supporters to buy them as the ownership group attempted to build bridges in the wake of the European Super League fiasco.

United and 11 other major European teams attempted to form a breakaway competition that would rival the Champions League, but a stunning backlash from fans quickly led to all six English clubs involved backing out.

The Glazers' relationship with fans had been rocky at best ever since the family plunged the club into massive debt when Malcolm Glazer financed his initial takeover in 2003 with loans that were secured against United assets.

Their involvement in the Super League's attempted coup of elite club football further exacerbated ill-feeling among supporters, forcing the Glazers into crisis management – June's fan forum was Joel Glazer's first such appearance in 15 years as part-owner.

Three months earlier, Avram Glazer put 5m shares on the market at a valuation of £72.2m. None of the proceeds went to the club.

Premier League football takes a back seat again for the best part of a fortnight now as the international break arrives, but the past weekend gave us plenty to chew on in the interim.

Liverpool and Manchester City played out a belter of a match at Anfield on Sunday, as Mohamed Salah shone yet again on English football's biggest stage.

That contest provided further evidence of the gap between those two and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United, though Bruno Fernandes' latest achievement suggests the Norwegian should be doing better given the talent at his disposal.

Below, Stats Perform looks at some of the quirky Opta facts from the weekend…

Salah a double threat

Sunday's 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield was utterly engrossing, and Mohamed Salah played a key role in that.

Not only did he set up Sadio Mane's opener with a brilliant run and pass, he then got Liverpool's second at the end of an incredible run that saw him evade most of the City defence.

That was the 20th time he has both scored and assisted during a single Premier League game, which is six more than anyone else in the top-flight since his Reds debut on 2017-18 — Son Heung-min is next with 14.

There is also no Liverpool player particularly close to him in that regard in the club's entire Premier League history, with Steven Gerrard second to Salah with 16 instances of getting a goal and assist in the same game.

Fernandes setting the pace

Manchester United may be erratic, but Bruno Fernandes certainly isn't when it comes to decisive moments in the Premier League.

He set up Anthony Martial with a lovely turn and throughball for the first goal in United's 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday, that assist taking him to 50 goal involvements in 58 Premier League matches — only Andy Cole (43), Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona (both 54) reached that mark in fewer games.

But putting his achievement into modern-day context, Fernandes (30 goals, 20 assists) sits top of the pile for most involvements since his debut, his 50 being four more than Salah (34 goals, 12 assists).

The only other player on more than 40 in that time is Harry Kane (44 involvements, 30 goals, 14 assists).

The Premier League's deadliest attack… Sort of

So, you think you know which team is the most clinical in the Premier League this season? Well, you're wrong.

It's not Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City. It's certainly not Tottenham or Arsenal… It's Brentford. In a way.

When it comes to the amount of goals scored from their shots on target, the Premier League new boys have been the most clinical, netting 10 (or 45.5 per cent) of their 22 accurate attempts following the 2-1 win at West Ham.

Liverpool are the league's leading scorers with 17, but those goals have come from 53 shots on target, meaning only 32.1 per cent of their accurate efforts are beating the goalkeeper.

Norwich City prop up the table (11.8 per cent), with Spurs (18.8 per cent) and Arsenal (19.2 per cent) also in the bottom three.

Vardy almost the 'golden oldie'

Jamie Vardy's story is a familiar one these days. His journey to the top wasn't straightforward, but since getting there he's been absolutely devastating.

Of course, his 24-goal haul was essential in Leicester City's incredible title triumph of 2015-16, but he's continued at a great level, only recording under 15 Premier League goals in a single season once since.

He already looks well on track to better his tally of 15 from 2020-21 this season, with the former England man on six in seven league games, and now he's closing in on a record.

Vardy's goal against Crystal Palace at the weekend was his 90th in the top-flight since turning 30 in January 2017, with Arsenal great Ian Wright (93) the only player in the competition's history to score more after his 30th birthday.

What does the future hold for Erling Haaland?

The Borussia Dortmund forward is wanted across Europe.

However, Haaland could remain in Germany…

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND SET FOR DORTMUND STAY?

Erling Haaland is a player in demand but he is not certain to leave Borussia Dortmund, according to Sport Bild.

Haaland has been tipped to depart Dortmund at the end of the season amid links with Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

But Norwegian pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft suggests Haaland could remain at the Bundesliga outfit for longer than many expect.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sky Sports Italian claims Fiorentina chairman Rocco Commisso is concerned whether star forward Dusan Vlahovic intends to sign a new contract with Viola. Contracted until 2023, the Serbia international has been in talks regarding a new deal as the likes of City, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Inter reportedly circle.

- United are still backing under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Fabrizio Romano.

- Tuttomercatoweb reports Atletico have joined the race to sign Chelsea's Timo Werner, who has found himself behind Romelu Lukaku at Stamford Bridge. Bayern and Dortmund are also reportedly eyeing Werner.

Madrid have been offered the chance to sign RB Leipzig Christopher Nkunku in 2022, says Mundo Deportivo.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is adamant he will be able to get the best out of his Manchester United squad this season despite an erratic start to 2021-22.

Solskjaer's time in charge at United has generally been seen in a positive light among supporters, with first-team recruitment improving and many players considered deadwood under previous managers finally offloaded.

Additionally, the Norwegian secured back-to-back Champions League qualifications in his two full seasons at the helm — Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal only managed one each, while David Moyes was sacked before the conclusion to 2013-14, with United ultimately finishing seventh.

But arguably for the first time since becoming United manager, Solskjaer is now under pressure to challenge for the biggest titles following the recent arrival of big-name recruits Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Performances so far in 2021-22 have fallen short of expectations, however, with United winning just five of their 10 matches across all competitions — only two were by more than a single goal, and those were against a Leeds United side that is notoriously open and Newcastle United, who have not won any of their first seven league games.

United's latest disappointing result was the 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday, which made it nine home league matches without a clean sheet, one shy of equalling a club record.

Everton were the more threatening team in that match, their 1.22 expected goals (xG) an improvement on United's 0.88 xG while the Toffees also had a goal disallowed, but Solskjaer retains belief in his team and staff.

Asked if he should be getting better results from the squad at his disposal, a prickly Solskjaer said: "That's the same question you asked on Wednesday night… Of course, I'm very confident we'll get the best out of this squad.

"A lot has happened this month. We've had Raphael, Cristiano and Jadon with us since August — well, Cristiano only September.

"We've loads to work on, we need to improve. We know that, I know that, but I do believe in this group of players and the coaching staff I've got. Yes, is the short answer."

A gruelling sequence of matches awaits after the international break, with United set to face Leicester City, Atalanta twice, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in a six-game spell.

While Solskjaer's record against Liverpool is not great, with him yet to beat the Reds in the league, he has at least had some joy in meetings with City, against whom he has won more games (four) than lost (three) across all competitions.

But some consider this upcoming sequence to be a make-or-break run for Solskjaer, and he stresses that past results against those opponents need to be disregarded.

"I believe in these players, in the coaching staff. I believe we have something going," he continued. "But the proof is in the pudding, so we need results and you have to turn up.

"We can't say we did well against City and Tottenham last year, we need to do it during the 90 minutes, that's the challenge.

"Every game in the Premier League and Champions League is a big game against a good team, and every game at Man Utd is a potential banana skin because we're expected to win every one."

Could Darwin Nunez be the next Benfica star to make a big move?

Portuguese sensation Joao Felix swapped Benfica for Atletico Madrid in a club-record deal in 2019.

Now, Uruguay international Nunez is attracting interest from across Europe.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FRONT OF QUEUE FOR NUNEZ

Manchester City are leading the race to sign Darwin Nunez from Portuguese giants Benfica, according to the Daily Star.

Premier League champions City are desperate to sign a forward amid links with Tottenham's Harry Kane, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic.

Nunez has also reportedly attracted interest from BarcelonaLiverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Milan, Inter and Atletico Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

– United forward Edinson Cavani could join Real Madrid in January, claims Mundo Deportivo. It comes as Cavani finds himself battling Cristiano Ronaldo for regular game time at Old Trafford, where the club's hierarchy are concerned amid their form under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

- The Daily Star reports Arsenal are weighing up a move for out-of-favour City forward Raheem SterlingBarca are also believed to be interested in Sterling, according to The Sun, as they face the prospect of missing out on Leipzig's Dani Olmo. The Spain international has been linked with United, Juventus and Bayern.

Liverpool are eyeing Pogon Szczecin midfielder Kacper Kozlowski, says the Mirror. The 17-year-old has been linked with Bayer Leverkusen, Milan, RB Leipzig and Salzburg.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he had no regrets starting Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench as Manchester United were held by Everton on Saturday.

The Red Devils boss made five changes to the side that beat Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday courtesy of a last-gasp Ronaldo goal.

The decision appeared to have been vindicated when Anthony Martial, making his first Premier League start since August, scored in the top flight for the first time since February to put United ahead.

Martial had to come off after picking up a knock, and less than 10 minutes after Solskjaer introduced Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, Everton equalised as Andros Townsend buried only their second shot on target of the contest.

United could not find a way to take all three points and only avoided defeat when Yerry Mina's tap-in was correctly disallowed for offside by VAR, while they have now won just two of their past six games in all competitions.

Ronaldo looked clearly frustrated as he headed straight for the tunnel muttering to himself after the final whistle, but Solskjaer, who earlier cited the physical and emotional fatigue from their Champions League exploits, defended his team selection.

Asked if he regretted not starting Ronaldo, he replied: "No. You make decisions throughout a long, long season, you have to manage the players' workload and the decision for me was the correct one.

"Anthony Martial did well, scored a good goal. Edinson [Cavani] needed minutes and could have had a goal. We have to make those decisions at the time."

United had nearly 72 per cent of the possession, but they could only manage 13 shots to Everton's 12 and rarely looked like scoring after Townsend's leveller.

Solskjaer was left frustrated at the manner in which his side conceded on the counter-attack following their own corner.

"We got hit on one break that cost us and we lacked that cutting edge to get the important second goal," he said. "We made a couple of decisions that cost us. We had players behind the ball when the ball was delivered and we should have dealt with it. We need to work on it because we are facing more and more opponents who allow us to have possession."

With games against Leicester City, Atalanta (twice), Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City to come after the international break, Solskjaer insisted he has confidence performances and results will improve.

"It's a big month. We have to be focused and make sure we use the international break well, come back with energy and [with a] clear focus," he said.

"The mindset is good, the players are hungry to improve. We dominated the game but just couldn't get the second goal you need in games like this.

"I'm confident we will get the best out of this squad. A lot has happened this month [player arrivals]. We have loads to work on but I do believe in these players and this coaching staff. I believe we have something going but the proof is in the pudding."

Andros Townsend insists his goal celebration during Everton's 1-1 draw with Manchester United was a mark of respect towards Cristiano Ronaldo, rather than mockery.

Townsend netted a second-half equaliser as the Toffees left Old Trafford with a well-earned point.

The winger rounded off a rapid counter by the visitors in the 65th minute, latching onto Abdoulaye Doucoure's pass before drilling past David de Gea.

Townsend marked his strike with his own interpretation of the signature celebration performed by Ronaldo.

But the former Crystal Palace man says the celebration was simply a tribute to one of his idols.

"Not imitating, it's just a mark of respect to a guy who influenced my career," he told BT Sport.

"I spent many hours on the training pitch and in the video room trying to analyse his free-kicks and his step-overs and the way he dedicated himself to football. 

"So, it wasn't an imitation; it was a mark of respect to one of my idols. 

"I probably didn't do the celebration justice and didn't execute it properly!"

For Townsend, the equaliser marked his fifth goal in nine appearances since swapping Selhurst Park for Goodison Park, as many as he scored in his final 79 appearances for Palace.

It was his third consecutive goalscoring appearance in the Premier League, a career first for the former England winger.

Bruno Fernandes vented his frustration at Manchester United's form after their draw with Everton, acknowledging silverware will be a pipe dream unless they improve.

Fernandes became the joint-fourth quickest player to reach the 50 goals involvements landmark in the Premier League as he teed up Anthony Martial for United's opener on Saturday.

But Everton were good value for their second-half equaliser, as Demarai Gray twice shrugged off Fred before feeding Abdoulaye Doucoure, who then teed up Andros Townsend for a straightforward finish.

United have now won just two of their past seven home league games, while their run of nine successive top-flight matches at Old Trafford without a clean sheet is the second-worst in the club's history (10, 1970-71).

Everton created better quality chances as well, with Rafael Benitez's men recording 1.22 expected goals (xG) to United's 0.88, which suggests the hosts were perhaps slightly lucky to even score once.

Understandably, Fernandes was frustrated.

"We should win this game," the Portugal international told BBC Sport.

"We should create more chances, we should not concede that kind of goal. It's not the first time and we have to look at our mistakes and see what we can do."

Victory for United would have taken them top, even if just temporarily. Despite such fine margins, Fernandes is concerned about their form, having also lost to Aston Villa last time out in the Premier League.

In his opinion, their silverware chances will be in doubt if they do not improve.

"We don't look at the league table at this moment but of course we should have more points," he continued.

"We drop points at home and we should not do that. These last two games at home were not good enough in the Premier League.

"If we want silverware at the end of the season, we have to do much better."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under pressure in recent weeks, with some once again suggesting he is not the right man to turn the Red Devils into title contenders.

And his comments may increase the cause for concern among some fans, with the Norwegian suggesting United did not afford Everton many chances despite the Toffees managing 10 shots inside the box – the hosts managed nine.

"We didn't concede many chances today but we conceded a goal, so sometimes you have to deal with one or two moments and we didn't," he told BT Sport. "In that break we got outmuscled, we should've cleared it.

"We gave them a few counterattacks. I don't know the stats but I know we had the ball most of the time. They didn't play through us at all really. How not to be counterattacked is the key lesson here.

"Every game in the Premier League, you can work on a system, on defending, but that [counter] has to be dealt with."

Manchester United fell short of expectations once again as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Old Trafford, with Andros Townsend continuing his brilliant start to the season.

United were bailed out by a late Cristiano Ronaldo winner after an unimpressive performance against Villarreal in midweek, though there was no such drama this time as the Red Devils lacked cohesion in the final third.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sprung something of a surprise by benching Ronaldo in favour of Edinson Cavani, and although that change may not have had the desired effect, United did go into the break leading thanks to Anthony Martial's first league goal since February.

Ronaldo was introduced from the bench for his 200th Premier League appearance but Everton refused to go away and deservedly levelled thanks to Townsend's fifth goal of the season, that equaliser preventing United from briefly going top.

The hosts survived a late scare as Yerry Mina saw a goal ruled out for offside following a nervy VAR check for the home faithful.

Everton were arguably the better team for most the first half and went close to the opening goal in the 16th minute with a Michael Keane header that went just wide.

Demarai Gray then forced David de Gea into a great save with a fine long-range effort shortly after a Cavani header that tested Jordan Pickford.

It took a little longer for United to click into gear, but when they did the deadlock was broken. Mason Greenwood picked out Bruno Fernandes, who turned before feeding Martial into the left side of the area and the Frenchman converted via a slight deflection.

Solskjaer introduced Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho as United went in search of the clincher, but Everton caught them on the break to level.

Gray twice held off flimsy tackles from Fred before feeding Abdoulaye Doucoure, and he set Townsend up for a straightforward finish just past the hour.

Everton thought they had a winner as Mina tapped in from Tom Davies' pass, but United's blushes were spared as replays showed the Colombian had strayed just offside.

Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes has become the joint-fourth quickest Premier League player to reach 50 goal involvements after achieving the feat in 58 appearances.

Fernandes reached the milestone towards the end of the first half of United's meeting with Everton, turning before feeding Anthony Martial into the left side of the box for the Frenchman to convert.

Only three players have reached the 50 involvements mark quicker than Fernandes.

Former Red Devil Andy Cole leads the way after recording the half-century in 43 games. Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona both reached the landmark in 54 matches, while Fernandes slots in alongside Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who also took 58 matches.

The 27-year-old's half-century in the competition breaks down into 30 goals and 20 assists, with no player appearing more times for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since his debut in February 2020.

Indeed, 13 of those goals have come from the penalty spot, ranking him top of the Premier League for spot-kicks in the same time period, with Jamie Vardy and Jorginho next with nine.

The signing of the former Sporting CP playmaker has revolutionised Solskjaer's side, who finished second behind Manchester City last season.

Before Fernandes' move, United won 22 (47.8 per cent) and lost 13 of 46 league games under the Norwegian, which changed to 33 wins in 57 games (57.9 per cent) after his introduction at Old Trafford.

Last term, the Portugal midfielder led the English top flight for chances created with 95, while no player created more than his 20 big chances (a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score, according to Opta), perhaps explaining United's improved conversion rate with Fernandes in the team.

On five occasions, Fernandes has been directly involved in three goals in a single game, including twice against rivals Leeds United.

Cristiano Ronaldo will have to wait for his 200th Premier League appearance after being named on Manchester United's bench for Everton's visit on Saturday, with Edinson Cavani making his first start of the season.

Cavani has had to be patient at the start of 2021-22, with the experienced Uruguayan absent for much of the first six weeks of the season.

His pre-season was delayed by his Copa America duties and subsequent extended holiday, while he has also missed games due to injury.

Cavani appeared as a substitute in last weekend's defeat to Aston Villa and Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Villarreal, taking his appearances tally to three for the season.

But he looked sharp against the Yellow Submarine, with his trademark tirelessness key to winning the ball back in the build-up to Ronaldo's dramatic late winner, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rewarded him.

For Ronaldo, this will be the first time since returning to United that he has had to contend with a spot on the bench in the Premier League, having previous started three games and scored as many goals.

Should he appear as a substitute, the 36-year-old will clock up a landmark double century of outings in the Premier League.  

Ronaldo first appeared in England's top flight in 2003 after joining United from Sporting CP as a teenager, with this first spell at Old Trafford seeing him establish himself among the world's best.

He returned to United in August after 12 years at Real Madrid and Juventus, and he has hit the ground running for Solskjaer's men.

While United themselves have been rather erratic, winning three and losing three of their six games since Ronaldo returned, the Portugal great has proven a typically reliable source of goals.

He has scored five times already, including that late winner against Villarreal.

His goalscoring form has helped Ronaldo overtake Solskjaer in the standings for most goals scored at the club as of their first 200 Premier League matches.

Ronaldo is on 87 heading into the Everton game, with Solskjaer having scored 84 in his first 200 league games for United.

But it will take something special if Ronaldo is to be top of the pile in that respect after the Everton game given Rooney holds the record with 93 goals. No other play managed more than 47 (Paul Scholes).

Joining Ronaldo on the bench are Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho, the latter of whom has endured a difficult start to life at United.

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