Radamel Falcao struck his first goal in the United red to move them up to fourth. Angel Di Maria gave the home side a first half lead with a goal just before the half hour mark before Steven Naismith headed Everton level 10 minutes after the restart. Falcao helped home a Di Maria shot to give all three points to United.
With ongoing defensive problems for United, Luke Shaw was given his first start at left back with Paddy McNair continuing at centre half alongside Marcos Rojo. Antonio Valenica played alongside Angel Di Maria with Daley Blind at the bottom of the diamond and Juan Mata at the top due to Wayne Rooney’s suspension. Everton made 2 changes from their derby draw last week with Steven Pienaar and Aiden McGeady replacing James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas.
United continued with a narrow diamond hoping that full backs Rafael and Shaw could provide the much needed width for the home side. Shaw and Di Maria were providing a valuable option down the left for United with Falcao and Van Persie going close with efforts after left wing crosses. Everton struggled in the opening exchanges, looking neat and tidy in possession until they reached the final third. Di Maria continued his fine early form for United and linked up well with Falcao to give the on loan striker a chance on goal which he scuffed wide. The home side took the lead after 27 minutes, Rafael got forward down the right and his dangerous cross fell to Mata at the back post. The Spanish midfielder played the ball into the on rushing Di Maria who curled his shot beyond Howard in the Everton goal.
United were now in the ascendency with Di Maria having a free kick turned round the post after a deflection off Naismith. After a trip to Russia on Thursday, Everton looked a bit tired in the first half with Lukaku struggling to hold the ball up for the away side. He did find space from a Baines forward ball but the £28 million man could only blaze his shot wide. Everton continued with the possession football which is brewed through Martinez’s philosophy and had the chance to level just on half time after great period of possession. Hibbert played a ball around the corner to Pienaar, continuing his run into the box he received the midfielder’s back heel and just got to the ball before Shaw, who brought the Everton man down. Baines stepped up and had his penalty saved by De Gea.
Everton started the second half a lot brighter looking better going forward and levelled 10 minutes after the restart. A well worked free kick saw Baines play a one two with Gareth Barry and the left back whipped in a peach of a delivery. Naismith evaded Shaw at the back post to head beyond De Gea to draw the toffees level. The away side could have taken the lead 2 minutes later when Jagielka’s header was cleared off the line at the back post by Falcao from a Baines corner. United tried to go back on the attack and retook the lead on 65 minutes. A attempted shot from Di Maria found its way to Falcao who helped the ball home for his first goal for United.
Everton continued in possession to try and create an opening for the equalizer but found De Gea in inspired form saving well after substitute Osman was played in. Everton could have levelled in the dying minutes going close twice from a corner. First Gareth Barry had a attempted shot blocked by Blackett with the rebound bouncing to Ovideo who was returning from injury on the edge of the box. The Everton midfielder saw his left foot volley brilliantly saved by De Gea as it was certain for the top corner to give United the victory.
Even after Manchester United’s poor start to the season, they find themselves in fourth place with Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool all below them in the table. However Everton were not on top form and provided problems when they attacked in the second half but yet again the Merseyside club lose a game after a Thursday night fixture in the Europa League. United will know more where they are this season facing Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea in their next 5 matches, but with the team improving and players coming back from injury they may get stronger.
Everton need a couple of results to start their season with influential players in Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy missing, it always looked difficult at Old Trafford. Martinez is loved around Merseyside but with his mission to go as far as possible in the Europa League their league form will suffer.