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Man Utd 2-1 Everton - Disappointment at Old Trafford

There would be no Bryan Oviedo-esque heroics at Old Trafford this time around with Radamel Falcao condemning the Toffees to defeat.

Clive Brunskill

Everton stumble into the international break fourth from bottom in the Premier League with just one victory from their opening seven games following defeat against Man Utd at Old Trafford.

Taken in isolation the latest loss is not one to be too worried about. Everton recovered from a below-par first half display to work their way back into the game and but for the heroics of David De Gea would have taken home at least a point at a ground that is still tough to go to, despite United's recent difficulties.

However, Sunday's display contained the same individual errors we have seen since August, as well as the obligatory injury to add to an ever-increasing casualty list, meaning improvement is needed if the season is not to continue on its downward spiral.

To that end the break has come at the ideal time, allowing the medical team to work their magic at Finch Farm and giving Roberto Martinez the chance to work on what has gone wrong during the first few weeks of the campaign.

Back to Old Trafford and after a dominant opening period United opening the scoring on 27 minutes, Juan Mata teeing up the impressive Angel di Maria to curl beyond Tim Howard after Everton had failed to clear a right wing cross.

Di Maria could have doubled the advantage a few minutes later, but Howard did well to tip his deflected free kick away from danger.

Everton offered precious little in the first half but had a glorious opportunity to level the scores just before the break when Luke Shaw cleaned out Tony Hibbert in the area for a spot kick.

As sure as day follows night, Leighton Baines scores penalties, well until today anyway, with De Gea's one handed stop giving us all the feeling it was going to be one of those days.

Despite that obvious disappointment the Toffees regrouped and were far more impressive in the second half, levelling the scores on 55 minutes.

Baines swung in a dangerous cross from the left and Steven Naismith stooped to power an unstoppable header past De Gea.

Buoyed by that goal Everton began to exert sustained pressure on the United backline, with Phil Jagielka coming close to giving the Toffees the lead only for Falcao to volley his header off the line.

It was hugely frustrating then to see United re-take the lead minutes later.

With Steven Pienaar down injured referee Kevin Friend chose not to stop play, but even then goalkeeper Howard had the chance to hit the ball out for a throw, instead choosing to try and hit a long pass. The ball went straight to a United player, with the move resulting in Falcao deflecting di Maria's scuffed shot into the net.

Replays also showed that John Stones had failed to step out, playing Falcao onside, adding to Everton's frustration. Pienaar also eventually limped off to be replaced by Bryan Oviedo, the match winner in the same fixture last December.

As the game entered its closing stage Everton, like at Anfield last week, began to look a bit more threatening, only to come up against a goalkeeper in inspired form.

First, the Spaniard was a full stretch to palm away a stinging drive from substitute Osman for a corner. Then, after Gareth Barry's goalbound shot was well blocked, De Gea did remarkably well stretch and tip away Oviedo's volley that had fizzed through a crowd of players.

It was a save worthy of winning a game and was further evidence that it was just not going to be Everton's day.

To make matters worse John Stones - by far and away Everton's best player so far this season - was stretched off with an ankle ligament injury sustained in the build-up to Oviedo's shot.

The final act was a header sent well over the bar by the disappointing Romelu Lukaku, who looked short of both match fitness and confidence, as if weighed down by his £28million price tag.

He and his teammates now have two weeks to stew on this result before taking to the field again at home to Aston Villa, a game that even at this ridiculously early stage of the season is close to being billed as must-win encounter.