Martial strike condemns Blues to third successive defeat.
Manchester United 1 (0) – (0) 0 Everton
Old Trafford (Attendance:75,431)
Everton’s poor league form continued on Sunday afternoon after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United.
Anthony Martial’s goal 10 minutes after half time was enough to separate the sides and result in Roberto Martinez’s men slip to their third league loss in a row.
Phil Jagielka’s two second half efforts were the only shots on target that the Toffees could muster as another limp display kept them rooted to 12th position in the Barclays Premier League.
John Stones and Gerard Deulofeu were recalled to the Blues’ starting line up for the clash at Old Trafford in place of Ramiro Funes Mori and Muhamed Besic.
And the latter was bright in the opening exchanges as he weaved past Marcus Rojo and Daley Blind before darting into the penalty area – his mazy run only being halted by a heavy touch before the ball was eventually cleared.
Marcus Rashford then teed up Martial at the other end, but the French forward could only fire wide of the upright from a good position.
Leighton Baines saw a free kick cannon off a United wall for a corner after James McCarthy was fouled by Morgan Schneiderlin.
From the resulting set piece Romelu Lukaku guided a header back across goal – but looked on as his effort sailed the wrong side of the post.
Martial saw another goal bound strike blocked by Stones as the game began to ebb and flow.
And the young centre half came out on top again moments later to deny the United striker a clear sight of goal – a last-ditch sliding challenge preventing Martial from getting his strike away as he bore down on Joel Robles in the Everton goal.
Lukaku’s turn and shot four minutes after the restart was blocked by the impressive Daley Blind as the away side looked to take the match to the hosts.
But hopes of a repeat of the 1-0 victory two-and-a-half-years ago were dashed when Louis Van Gaal’s charges struck on 54 minutes.
Juan Mata and substitute Timothy Fosu-Mensah combined to set up Rashford on the edge of the area, before the 18 year old backheeled back into the path of the onrushing Fosu-Mensah.
The young defender guided a low centre across the six yard area, and Martial was more alert than the static Seamus Coleman to the cross as he prodded home to send Old Trafford wild.
The first of captain Jagielka’s two chances came just moments later as the Blues pressed for an equaliser.
An inswinging corner from the right was met by the 33 year old, but his thunderous header only cracked back off the crossbar to safety.
Mata’s low cross from the left was then merely inches away from the stretching Jesse Lingard on the hour.
Kevin Mirallas and Oumar Niasse were introduced by Martinez as the Spaniard pondered a way back into proceedings.
But it was Jagielka once more who looked to level the scores – the defender’s low effort from another corner saved comfortably by David De Gea.
Fosu-Mensah had to be alert late on as he cut out Coleman’s dangerous fizzed cross, as Lukaku lurked, but the Toffees could not find another way through as they slipped to a first away league defeat since October 2015.