David Moyes’ men employed a similarly direct approach in the second half and within three minutes of the restart the Toffees had clattered the crossbar after Fellaini – yes, him again – cushioned a header at the far post and Osman connected sweetly from 10 yards.
Fellaini then rose highest - out-jumping Michael Carrick six yards out - to meet Darron Gibson’s corner and power Everton into a 57th-minute lead. It was a fabulous finish and just reward for Fellaini's performance; the only surprise was that the goal didn't come sooner.
United almost equalised when a spot of pinball in the Everton penalty area ended with Tom Cleverley’s shot being cleared off the line by Phil Jagielka. The England defender was solid all evening and made a number of timely interceptions and blocks, much to the chagrin of United's travelling support.
Van Persie’s introduction midway through the second period boosted spirits among those supporters and almost led to a goal on 79 minutes when he crossed low for Kagawa at the near post. Tim Howard shot bravely off his line, however, and his clearance cannoned off the Japanese for a goal kick.
There was to be no dream debut for either summer signing. Instead, this was a chastening experience for Sir Alex’s men and a reminder that life in the Barclays Premier League – even at Manchester United and especially when Everton are the opposition – is never easy.