Manchester United 0 Everton 1

Michael Regan

Bryan Oviedo was the Everton hero with an 85th minute winner that secured their first victory at Old Trafford in 21 years and ruined David Moyes’ first game against his old club.

All the talk before the game was about Moyes and whether he would be afforded a nice reception from the visiting supporters.

The answer was an emphatic no.

In time I think Everton fans will be kinder to the Scot, but he can’t be surprised at the frosty reception given his behaviour over the summer and increasingly patronising comments about Everton, especially in a press conference ahead of this encounter.

Switching back to matters on the field, despite the game yielding just one goal it was an enthralling affair, with both sides committing plenty of men forward yet looking vulnerable on the counter attack.

The Toffees started off well, Kevin Mirallas – recalled ahead of Gerard Delofeu – firing in a shot that David De Gea did well to tip over the bar.

United responded and had their best spell midway through the first half, Wayne Rooney stinging the palms of Tim Howard from a tight angle inside the area.

Ryan Giggs then flashed a header just wide after a clever near post run with Howard stranded. Soon after, Rooney had a shot from the edge of the area that deflected off Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin, wrong-footed Howard, but came off the inside of the post and away.

Everton battled their way back into the game as the half wore on, with Romelu Lukaku getting the better of a rather ponderous looking Nemanja Vidic.

The Belgian drew another save from De Gea before Mirallas saw a goal bound effort blocked by Chris Smalling.

Ross Barkley then broke clear with Everton three on two, but his ball to Lukaku was poor and the move broke down.

The second half began in the same vein, with both sides committing men forward and keeping up a breathless pace.

Moyes, unusually, made a positive change early in the second half, throwing on Adnan Januzai and Nani, but the game continued to rest on a knife edge.

Martinez responded by throwing on Saturday’s man of the match Deulofeu, and he had a wonderful chance to open the scoring when he was played in Lukaku. However, the 19-year-old appeared surprised by the space he was afforded by the increasingly ragged United defence and fired straight at De Gea.

The ball then went up to the other end immediately with Januzai drawing another good save from Howard. From the resulting corner, Howard did superbly to push away Patrice Evra’s header before Danny Welbeck hit the cross bar with the rebound.

That was an undoubted let off for Everton but the players refused to buckle and sit back – I think that is where Moyes’ Everton and Martinez’s current side differs.

Referee Martin Atkinson then seemed to lose the plot for a few minutes, refusing to book Marouane Fellaini for racking his studs down the back of McCarthy’s thigh then Nemanja Vidic and Antonio Valencia for two late, rash challenges.

The latter, though, led to a free kick which Mirallas took and hit the post with De Gea at full stretch.

Everton kept possession and kept United under pressure, with the ball eventually worked from the right into Lukaku, whose mis-hot shot span across the six yard box and fell perfectly for Oviedo, who fired past De Gea from close range and sent the away fans into raptures.

That goal came with four minutes left but United never threatened an equaliser, with the Toffees holding on to record their first win at Old Trafford since a 3-0 victory in August 1992.

This win sends out a real message that Everton will not be overawed by anyone in this division and should lift a real psychological barrier that seemed to paralyse the players when they went to the big sides.

Martinez’s bold approach may see us on the wrong end of some heavy defeats as we are undoubtedly more open at the back. However, if that also brings with it nights like tonight, I think I’ll take it.

Howard 8 Coleman 8 Oviedo 9 Distin 8 Jagielka 8 McCarthy 8 Barry 8 Mirallas 8 (Naismith 6) Barkley 8 (Deulofeu) Lukaku 8 Pienaar 8 (Osman 7)


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