Manchester United continue to play exceptionally well, smashing Everton 4-0 at Old Trafford. Valencia, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, and Martial were the goal scorers, and the defence kept another clean sheet.
All the pre-match talk was about United legend Wayne Rooney returning to Old Trafford as an opponent. He has made a decent start to his Everton return, scoring against Stoke and Man City earlier in the season. Everton, however, came into the game in a poor run of form, going winless in their last 5 matches in all competitions.
United came off of a dominant midweek victory vs Basel in the Champions League. Sadly, Pogba picked up an injury during that match, which could take him out of action for a little less than a month.
United’s starting XI was the usual, with some key changes. Young started in place of Blind, who was unavailable. Fellaini came in to replace Pogba, while Rashford was given the starting spot over Martial. Lukaku obviously was given the starting striker spot, as he faced his former club for the first time.
Everton’s starting XI featured 3 former United players, as Rooney, Schneiderlin, and Michael Keane all started. Also, potential Manchester transfer target Tom Davies was given the start.
United had a dream start to the match. Matic picked up the ball on the edge of the area, and pinged over a cross field pass to Valencia. The ball bounced up nicely to the right back, and Valencia hit it perfectly, flying past Pickford into the back of the net. It might be early in year, but that could easily be a goal of the season contender.
The early goal changed the complexion of the match, as the pressure was now on Everton to open up and grab a goal. A half chance fell to Rooney after a cross from Martina, but he dragged it wide.
United responded with a chance soon after. Lukaku was put through on goal, and dribbled past Williams. The Belgian was 1-on-1 with the Everton keeper, but put it wide.
David De Gea then reminded everyone watching that he is the best goalkeeper in the world. A cross was whipped into Davies, who headed it on target. De Gea got a hand up of course, and prevented it from going in. Davies was called offside, but it was still yet another De Gea highlight.
Everton tried to start the second half like United did the first. Rooney tackled the ball away from Bailly, and was through on goal, but De Gea kicked the shot away.
Jesse Lingard was subbed on for Rashford, who wasn’t able to influence the game as much as he would’ve liked.
United came very close to doubling the lead soon after the substitution. A free kick from the top of the box was curved to the near post by Mata, but it hit off the post.
Lingard had a chance of his own, when a low cross found him in the penalty area, but the Englishman hit it well over the crossbar.
Ander Herrera came on for Juan Mata to solidify the lead and hold on to the 3 points.
Rooney was subbed off to a round of applause from Old Trafford, which was a very nice moment.
United then grabbed a second, and put the game to rest. Fellaini won the ball in the midfield, and found Lukaku, who played a beautiful ball to Mkhitaryan. The Armenian was 1 on 1 with Pickford, and made no mistake with the finish, placing it into the bottom corner.
Lingard won a free kick, and Lukaku stood over it, looking to grab a goal vs his former club. He hit it into the wall, but the ball bounced around the penalty area, and Lukaku smashed it home. He celebrated by putting his hands to his ears, antagonising the Everton fans who were booing him.
United grabbed a 4th before the end of the match. A Schneiderlin handball resulted in a penalty for United, and Martial cooly slotted it home.
It was an emphatic victory for United, which put them back into 1st place in the league, tied with rivals Manchester City.
United host Burton Albion on Tuesday in the EFL Cup, before traveling to St Mary’s for a Premier League matchup vs Southampton on Saturday.