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Everton 1-3 Manchester United Instant reaction - more disappointment for Toffees

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Toffees slip to third successive defeat

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-MAN UTD Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Everton’s fine start has now completely gone up in smoke after a 3-1 defeat by Manchester United made it three successive defeats and four games without a win.

They can have few complaints, with the bad habits we saw during the restart creeping back into their play.

Gone is the slick, attacking play we saw in the opening few matches, while the defence remains worryingly porous.

The Toffees are only going to go one way if those weaknesses are not corrected quickly.

Carlo Ancelotti made six changes from the defeat at Newcastle, with James Rodriguez the most notable returnee.

Mason Holgate also came in for his first appearance of the season, with Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Bernard and Lucas Digne restored to the starting line-up.

The first chance of the game fell to Everton when neat interplay between Digne and Bernard saw the Brazilian loft in a cross for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose glancing header went just over.

Minutes later, a lovely flick from James released Coleman in the area, but the Irishman opted to cross when a shot may have been a better option

United’s first opportunity fell to Anthony Martial, who collected a lofted ball over the top and fired in a snap-shot just wide.

The Toffees’ opener was simplicity itself. Pickford’s long kick was flicked on by Calvert-Lewin to Bernard, who cut inside Aaron Wan-Bisakka and drove the ball low into the corner.

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-MAN UTD Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sadly, far from galvanising Everton, the goal appeared to revive the visitors, who levelled six minutes later.

Luke Shaw’s cross from the left found Bruno Fernandes completely unmarked, and he buried a header into the far corner.

Lucas Digne came close to restoring Everton’s lead following more good play between him and Bernard, but the Frenchman’s effort from a tight angle hit the outside of the post.

Sadly, more sloppy Everton defending allowed the Red Devils to move in front.

Marcus Rashford was allowed to drift into space before feeding Fernandes on the left, with his dinked cross drifting just over Rashford’s head and in off the far post.

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-MAN UTD Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Everton improved slightly at the start the second half, getting James on the ball in more offensive positions, though they struggled to test De Gea.

Coleman went on a mazy run into the area but could not get the ball out of his feet in time to shoot before being blocked.

Pickford, back in the side after being dropped last week, then dropped one of his clangers, failing to claim a routine free-kick into the box before booting Harry Maguire in the chest as he attempted to clear.

VAR had a look, but nothing was given. Another escape for the England No.1.

The frustrating thing about Pickford, though, is that there is a decent goalkeeper in there, and he demonstrated that once more with a smart stop from Rashford after he was played in by yet another routine ball over the top.

Cenk Tosun and Alex Iwobi were flung on in attempt to get back into the game, but Everton remained horribly poor going forward.

The only real half-chance they had fell to Abdoulaye Doucoure in stoppage-time, but his shot from the edge of the box flew well over.

Unites then finished the game off in stoppage-time with a rapid counter-attack finished off by Edinson Cavani - his first goal for the Red Devils (Everton, that).

Everton v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It is a harsh dose of reality for Evertonians, who were flying high just a few weeks ago.

Ancelotti stressed the importance of not getting carried away during that good start, so it is important not to despair too much now.

However, these last few weeks have brutally exposed the weaknesses that still exist in the side and the hard work that lies ahead.