goalwards, only for Howard to tip it wide.
In a rare Everton foray forward, Vidic was booked for a lunging challenge on former team-mate Louis Saha. Giggs almost followed the Serbian into the book minutes later for exactly the same act, but referee Alan Wiley spotted that the Welshman had slipped.
Wayne Rooney, chasing his 100th career club goal just a day after his 23rd birthday, was almost able to celebrate his landmark at the Gladwys Street End, but was denied a clear sight of goal by a superb last-ditch challenge from Phil Jagielka.
At half-time, the main worry for United was that such dominance had yielded just the one goal. Everton's trademark pluck - on the field and in the stands - had been nowhere before the interval. After it, it was a different story.
David Moyes' side flew out of the traps, hurtling into challenges and whipping the home crowd into a frenzy. One such challenge - an after-the-whistle lunge from Phil Neville on Ronaldo, had United's players incensed, but referee Wiley opted to brandish just a yellow card to the former Reds defender.
That decision proved telling after 64 minutes, when Neville whipped in a superb right-wing cross, and giant midfielder Fellaini was on hand to power in a header.
The goal had been coming, and matters could have been worsened a minute later when Rio Ferdinand underhit a backpass. Yakubu strode through on goal, but Edwin van der Sar did brilliantly to tip the Nigerian's shot onto the post.
United drew the sting out of Everton's approach in the latter stages, and twice could have snatched the points through Ronaldo. Firstly though, Yobo managed to deflect away his close-range effort, before the winger dragged a clear shot wide with just two minutes