[Premier League] Manchester United 0-1 Everton
Everton: Bryan Oviedo (86)
Bryan Oviedo's goal four minutes from time condemned Manchester United to a disappointing defeat as David Moyes' former club Everton stole the points at Old Trafford.
United were looking to go above the Toffees in the table but Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck were both out of luck in front of goal when denied by the woodwork, and the Merseysiders took full advantage late on.
The Reds came closest to scoring in an evenly-matched first half when Rooney struck a post. The in-form hitman, playing against his first club, saw his shot deflect off both Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin before hitting the upright and Tim Howard diverted the rebound away from Shinji Kagawa.
There were a number of other close calls, with Kagawa losing out in a one-on-one duel with Howard while the keeper also denied Rooney, who was later booked and now misses the Newcastle game. Jagielka escaped with a handball inside the box and Kagawa's cross went through Rooney's legs in the middle.
The visitors also looked a threat, with Romelu Lukaku a powerful presence in attack as both he and fellow Belgian Kevin Mirallas brought David De Gea into action. After the break, substitute Gerard Deulofeu raced away with his first involvement but could not squeeze the ball through De Gea's legs while the champions should have broken through on 72 minutes. Howard pushed away Evra's header from a Rooney corner and Welbeck, having to readjust, could only head against the bar with the goal gaping.
Although De Gea appeared to touch a Mirallas free-kick onto a post, the ball was recycled and Lukaku scuffed the ball across goal where Oviedo was on hand to fire into the net and strike a killer blow.
The Match United had looked the likelier scorers with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck both hitting the woodwork but, instead, Bryan Oviedo snatched victory with only four minutes left and there was no time for the Reds to offer any sort of response. Tim Howard performed well against his former club, making one reflex stop to deny Patrice Evra before Welbeck could only plant the rebound against the bar. Just when it looked set to be a frustrating goalless draw, things got even worse for United and the gap at the top to Arsenal is now 12 points.
Goals David De Gea's fine save to apparently tip a Kevin Mirallas free-kick onto an upright saw everybody breathe a huge sigh of relief, but the agony was only delayed as Romelu Lukaku was picked out inside the box and his scuffed cross fell perfectly for Oviedo, who finished clinically.
Star men Evra was a force down the left flank, attacking and defending, while Marouane Fellaini made some fine challenges, particularly in the first half. Wayne Rooney was again at the hub of most of the best attacking moves but is now suspended for the visit of Newcastle at the weekend after picking up a booking.
Sub-plots David Moyes taking on his former club for the first time after his long spell at Goodison Park was bound to be the subject of much focus but Fellaini and Rooney also competed against their old employers. The real agenda was United bidding to go above the Toffees in the table but it was not to be.
Opposition Everton looked slick from the outset and are clearly playing with confidence at the moment. Roberto Martinez is trying to impose his own brand of football and Lukaku, who is on loan from Chelsea, was a dangerous outlet and focal point of their attack. The young Belgian even worried Nemanja Vidic with his strength and, of course, set up the winner.
Move of the match United probed down the right with menace and Rooney intelligently prodded the ball into the path of the raiding Rafael in the first half. The Brazilian's cross was perfect but Ryan Giggs' glancing header dropped just wide of the far post.
In the stands The whole ground paid its respects to Bill Foulkes, who sadly passed away recently, with a minute's rousing applause before kick-off. The travelling fans predictably jeered Fellaini's every touch and Moyes also came in for a little stick as well, and unfortunately it was that end of the ground celebrating at the final whistle.