Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson has insisted his decision to substitute Moise Kean in the closing stages of his side’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United was “nothing personal”.
The Toffees took a surprise first-half lead at Old Trafford thanks to Victor Lindelof’s calamitous own goal and appeared to be good value for all three points as the clock ticked down.
Why was Kean substituted against United? Five things to know…
- Kean was introduced in the 70th minute against United on Sunday.
- Everton were in the lead at the time but conceded an equaliser to Mason Greenwood.
- Ferguson then made the shock decision to replace Kean with Oumar Niasse in the 89th minute.
- Kean went straight down the tunnel without acknowledging Ferguson.
- The Italy international has started just two Premier League games for Everton so far.
Ferguson introduced Kean from the bench on 70 minutes with Everton still in the lead but Mason Greenwood slotted home seven minutes later to fire the hosts back into the game.
And, with Everton looking increasingly fragile from thereon in, Ferguson opted to withdraw Kean on 89 minutes, replacing him with forgotten forward Oumar Niasse.
Kean cut a dejected figure as he made his way off the pitch and headed straight down the touchline without acknowledging Ferguson, which meant he missed his teammates close out the game and claim a valuable point.
But speaking after the match, Ferguson insisted the substitution wasn’t down to Kean’s performance, rather that he simply needed to waste some time by stopping to game to make a change.
“It wasn’t because of Moise Kean’s performance it was just because I needed to make a substitution to kill a bit of time,” he told Sky Sports.
“I have got so many strikers on the bench I just needed to make that change. It was nothing against Moise Kean, really.”
Kean’s time on Merseyside has been frustrating so far, with the Italy international yet to open his Everton account and being restricted to just two Premier League starts — the striker is already being linked with a January return to his homeland.
The Toffees have now taken four points from Chelsea and Man Utd during Ferguson’s first two games in charge as interim manager face Leicester City in the League Cup quarter-final next.