Everton   1

Fellaini (57)

Man United   0

Monday 20 August Goodison Park | Attendance: 38,415

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Everton
24Howard
2Hibbert
6Jagielka
15Distin
3Baines
21Osmansub23
18Neville
4Gibson
22Pienaar
25Fellainigoalsub5
7Jelavicsub14
Subs:
1Mucha
5Heitingasub25
14Naismithsub7
19Gueye
20Barkley
23Colemansub21
28Anichebe
Man United
1De Gea
7Valencia
15Vidic
16Carrick
3Evra
17Naniyellow cardsub18
23Cleverleysub8
22Scholesyellow card
26Kagawa
10Rooney
19Welbecksub20
Subs:
13Lindegaard
2Rafael
8Andersonsub23
9Berbatov
18Youngsub17
20van Persiesub19
31Wootton

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20/08/2012 21:50, Report by Nick Coppack
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Everton 1 United 0

Manchester United’s 2012/13 title bid began disappointingly against Everton at Goodison Park on Monday night in a taxing encounter bossed by Toffees forward Marouane Fellaini.

The Belgian created havoc in United’s makeshift defence and scored the only goal of the game on 57 minutes to inflict opening-day defeat on the Reds for the first time since 2004.

Fellaini’s exploits – he won almost every header and dragged the Reds centre-backs all over the pitch – outshone even the debut of Robin van Persie, who was sent on as a substitute with 22 minutes to play.

Try as he might, the Dutchman couldn’t engineer an equaliser on a night when Everton’s route-one tactics proved too tricky to handle for a defence robbed by injury of Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans.

That meant Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia had to slot into a back four that also contained, in Nemanja Vidic, a player who hadn’t experienced any competitive football since 7 December 2011.

Perhaps, then, it was no surprise Everton enjoyed so much success in the final third. Even before Fellaini rattled the woodwork on 14 minutes the hosts had caused mild panic in the Reds’ penalty area from Leighton Baines’ accurate set-piece delivery.

By the half-hour mark, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar had drawn smart saves from De Gea; United, meanwhile, could boast only of a curling Wayne Rooney free-kick that Tim Howard helped around the post.

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