Ronald Koeman’s Christmas tree proved decisive as he managed to exchange it for Marouane Fellaini without José Mourinho noticing, earning Everton a late penalty against Man Utd.
The Dutchman copped flak from the Toffees’ fan base earlier this week when he shared a photo of his predominantly red-decorated tree on Twitter.
But it seems they hadn’t counted on him tricking his Red Devils counterpart with a masterful switcheroo in the Goodison Park dugout.
Sending Duncan Ferguson to surreptitiously kidnap Fellaini, Koeman then wheeled his red Christmas tree onto the touchline as Mourinho prepared to make a substitution.
In farcical scenes, the tree was then brought on for Henrikh Mkhitaryan before conceding a penalty when it became entangled with Idrissa Gueye.
Speaking exclusively to Football Burp, Mourinho refused to admit any naivety on his part.
He scowled: “Me, naive? No. I don’t think anyone noticed it was a tree rather than Fellaini.
“Even now I see people blaming Fellaini on social media, but as far as I know he’s still gagged and bound in a broom cupboard somewhere.
“I’ve postponed my journey home because it could take a few hours to pick him out from all the brooms.”