and blue sides were trained on him for his first return to Goodison Park, where he had served the Toffees for over a decade before taking on the Old Trafford job. Former Everton striker Wayne Rooney was named United captain on the day, but it wasn’t a happy return to Merseyside for either man.
Move of the match There were a few choices for passing combinations in the first half; on 32 minutes, for example, there was a neat quick-fire interchange between Mata, Carrick, Kagawa, Rooney and Nani, but the latter couldn’t find the cross at the end of it to hurt Everton. That, in many respects, summed up a frustrating afternoon: good intentions, good possession, but it needed to be more forceful, more cutting, and quicker.
The opposition This was Everton’s seventh win in eight games and the confidence such a run brings was plainly evident in their play. They were unexpectedly direct at times, bold when attacking at speed, and you can take nothing away from them in that respect. But David Moyes certainly felt his team could have defended against that threat much better.
In the stands There's always a feisty reception at Goodison, but a Reds side led by Everton's former boss and featuring Wayne Rooney ups the ante. Leighton Baines said “it meant a lot” to the home fans to win with Moyes back in town, but United’s fans were louder in the first half, until the hosts went 2-0 up, naturally. That said, the away supporters didn’t stop singing throughout and with just one road trip left – Southampton on the final day – we can reflect on the incredible, unstinting support the travelling regulars have given the team this term… even if it provides precious little solace.