Barclays Premier League
Everton vs. Manchester United
Venue: Goodison Park
Date: Saturday, 17 October 2015
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Manchester United ended their Goodison Park hoodoo with a resounding 3-0 win away at Everton.
First half goals from Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera set the Reds on their way, with captain Wayne Rooney bagging his first away goal for 11 months, completing the scoring against his former side.
With four defeats in the last six trips to the home of the Toffees, and losing the last three there without scoring, conceding six, and with the scorelines mounting up at 1-0, 2-0 and last April’s 3-0, this was an important victory after a convincing away day performance.
Herrera won an early free-kick which was headed clear by Phil Jagielka as Juan Mata curled the ball into the danger area as David De Gea gathered ahead of Romelu Lukaku.
Matteo Darmian’s superb cross went unmet as Rooney flashed a shot wide before Ross Barkley had an attempt blocked at the other end.
The overly keen Schneiderlin conceded a free-kick for a foul on Steven Naismith, with Lukaku’s resulting effort coming off the wall and falling behind.
Neat play from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Rooney and Herrera led to Tim Howard tipping the ball over the bar from the latter’s effort, and the resulting corner led to the first goal.
Marcos Rojo was on hand to help keep the ball alive on the edge of the penalty area, with Chris Smalling knocking it into the path of Schneiderlin, who brought it down before slotting his effort low into the corner.
It was shortly two after Anthony Martial’s clever turn allowed him to play in Rojo, whose whipped cross from the left was nodded home by Herrera from the penalty spot.
Smalling hooked the ball away ahead of Naismith as Lukaku won a header before De Gea could reach the ball, only for it to be cleared.
Brendan Galloway burst past Mata and curled a delightful delivery into the mixer only for Smalling to once again clear the lines.
Jagielka then lashed an effort over the bar with De Gea producing a reflex save from Barkley’s effort.
Sandwiched between these two chances was the opportunity for United to put the game to bed as Rooney broke clear before setting up Martial, only for Howard to gather the attempt on the line.
Into the second half and Smalling cleared Barkley’s cross before Lukaku could get onto the end of the delivery, as Schweinsteiger and Rojo received bookings either side of substitute Arouna Kone’s blocked attempt.
Aaron Lennon’s cut back teed up Lukaku, whose placed effort was kept out by the outstretched foot of De Gea.
The Spanish keeper did likewise five minutes later, preventing Barkley’s free-kick from a wide area finding the back of the net.
The term “2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline” looked like coming into play with how the second half was shaping up, but United wrapped up the points just after the hour mark.
Schneiderlin latched onto Jagielka’s skewed pass which allowed Herrera to play the ball to Rooney, who ran towards goal with purpose and found a low finish to match.
Seamus Coleman saw his shot blocked as Barkley’s swerving effort forced a smart save out of De Gea, with Rooney getting himself into a tangle at the other end, poking a left-footed shot that was gathered by Howard.
Lukaku was booked for slamming the ball into the ground in frustration after being penalised for a foul, as half-time substitute Jesse Lingard fired wide from the edge of the area for United.
Howard denied Martial before Barkley’s free-kick skimmed the top of the net as the game petered out on what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon for Louis van Gaal’s side.
It was a day to forget to Everton, who were left saddened by the death of their former player and manager Howard Kendall, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.
As for United, this was a victory that puts to bed the horror of the last outing, when the same scoreline fell in Arsenal’s favour.
A trip to Moscow for Wednesday night’s Champions League fixture against CSKA Moscow is up next, with the Manchester derby to follow next Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford.
Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Carrick 74); Mata (Lingard 46), Herrera (Fellaini 82), Martial; Rooney.
Subs: Johnstone, Blind, Carrick, Lingard, Pereira, Memphis, Fellaini.
Manager: Louis van Gaal
Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway; McCarthy, Barry; Lennon (Deulofeu 73), Barkley, Naismith (Kone 46); Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Kone, Mirallas, Deulofeu, Osman, Funes Mori, Browning.
Manager: Roberto Martinez