After the recent 2-2 draw away from home against Stoke City halted Manchester United’s strong start to the season, Jose Mourinho’s men got back to winning ways in style. Playing hosts to an Everton team that has been handed a rough schedule at the start of the season, United stormed to a 4-0 win.
This was the third time United has registered a 4-0 win this season in the five games they’ve played – coming in victories over West Ham United and Swansea City previously. And the scoring started in as early as the fourth minute, courtesy of a powerful Antonio Valencia strike.
Nemanja Matic’s mistimed cross fell nowhere close to the Everton box, in which the United attackers had positioned themselves. Instead, the ball curled backwards and came to the Ecuadorian who was stationed at the far right corner of the box. Valencia didn’t bother bringing the ball under control, and instead drove home a shot that zipped past the outstretched Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.
The game marked the return of Wayne Rooney to Old Trafford after the 31-year-old made the switch back to his boyhood club during the summer transfer window. The former England striker did get a shy at goal, after being played through from the right flank. But Rooney’s close range effort – from an angle – was a tame shot and was easily blocked by David de Gea in the United goal.
The Toffees did do their bit however, to frustrate the United attack that was missing the services of the injured Paul Pogba. The Frenchman injured his hamstring and was ruled out for the tie, giving way to Marouane Fellaini. The former Everton midfielder used his strength and positioning to decent effect, helping United create space and encourage movement on the flanks.
But United had to wait till as late as the 83rd minute to find their second goal. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was played through by Romelu Lukaku, and the Armenian neatly slotted home to double the lead. Six minutes later, Lukaku himself pounced to tap home a cross from close range – celebrating his goal despite the game being his first meeting against his old club.
Later, in stoppage time, Anthony Martial’s darting run in the box was handled by Morgan Schneiderlin, who dove to block Martial’s shot but inadvertently caught the ball with his trailing arm. Martial insisted on taking the penalty himself and coolly finished to make the score 4-0.
The result puts United second in the Premier League table, level on points and goal difference with cross-city rivals Manchester City – the only two teams still unbeaten this season.