Emphatic United score four as Rooney endures tough return to Manchester

Three goals in the final ten minutes saw United hammer an Everton side who had more than enough chances to earn a point.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League - Old Trafford United players celebrate Antonio Valencia's opening goal after four minutes. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

FOR THE THIRD time this season Manchester United scored four goals and conceded none in a Premier League fixture, as Jose Mourinho’s side ran riot late on against Wayne Rooney’s Everton in a 4-0 win.

It was Rooney’s first appearance at Old Trafford since his return to Merseyside during the summer transfer window, however the club’s record goalscorer endured a tough evening despite a standing ovation for the player.

Antonio Valencia gave United a half-time lead thanks to an inspired wondergoal from outside the box. This lead, however, was not absolute and heading into the game’s final ten minutes Everton could easily have left Manchester with a share of the spoils.

Chances for Rooney, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Tom Davies could not bring an equaliser though, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial wrapping up the three points during a late onslaught which extends the Toffees’ winless streak.

Everton came into Sunday’s game looking to put a disastrous display in their 3-0 Europa League defeat to Atalanta behind them.

Ronald Koeman’s side have not won a game in all competitions since 17 August and entered this weekend with three consecutive Premier League defeats to their name.

That hapless streak would continue however, as the visitors got off to the worst possible start with Antonio Valencia giving United the lead after just four minutes.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League - Old Trafford Wayne Rooney endured a tough evening on his return to Manchester. Mike Egerton Mike Egerton

A routine cross inside the box was poorly cleared where the 32-year-old, wearing the captain’s armband, strook an outstanding effort flying into goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s top corner to send Old Trafford into raptures.

Everton looked sheepish and nervous at the back, but despite their initial reluctance grew in stature and confidence as the game wore on.

Rooney performed superbly up front despite fulfilling the role largely on his own as chances came and went. But for another top-class display from goalkeeper David De Gea the former United captain could easily have recorded a famous goal on his return to Manchester.

Everton recorded seven shots during 90 minutes, any of which could have brought the scores level. However the fragility which Koeman’s side showed in the early exchanges came to the fore in a panic-ridden final ten minutes.

Mkhitaryan finally doubled United’s lead after 83 minutes after Lukaku selflessly passed the ball sideways while bearing down on goal, while the former Everton striker got on the scoresheet himself with a powerful half-volley from close range.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League - Old Trafford Romelu Lukaku scored his fourth Premier League goal in five games. Mike Egerton Mike Egerton

Second-half substitute Anthony Martial had previously entered the field field on 88 minutes with the score at 2-0. When he departed Old Trafford at the final whistle it read double that.

Moments after Lukaku’s third Martial dribbled dangerously into the penalty area against the backdrop of a back-peddling Everton defence completely torn asunder.

He took another touch and another, which was handled on the ground by Morgan Schneiderlin which earned the French winger a spot kick.

Martial stood the test and slotted the ball past Pickford for 4-0 — the third such time United had scored as many and maintained a clean sheet this season, with Jose Mourinho’s side rising to second in the table, now joint-top with Manchester City.

Everton, meanwhile, drop to 18th as they suffer a fourth straight defeat in all competitions, the side now without a single Premier League goal in their last three appearances.

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