Last Updated: 31/01/09 7:29pm
Halsey then brings the game to an end. Van der Sar extends his consecutive clean sheet record to 12 as a workmanlike Man United win 1-0 to take control of the Premier League.
O'Shea hits a long ball forward and it comes to Berbatov who decides to hold up play. Carrick, who is my man of the match, fires in an effort from range that flies wide.
Anichebe pushes Brown in the back - off the ball - and is lucky that the ref doesn't show a yellow card.
Time is running out for Everton and both Liverpool and Chelsea will be hoping that the Toffees can snatch a late equaliser to prevent United from opening up a five-point lead at the summit of the league.
Pienaar charges forward on the counter. He has options and Carrick - again - slides in and wins the ball.
Those that have left miss a good chance made by Cahill for Arteta. Carrick shows some bravery to charge down the midfielder's rasping shot.
At the other end Giggs swings in a free-kick deep in Toffees territory. United clear and Carrick's shot sails well wide. And high.
Vidic penalised for a foul on Pienaar and Everton's big men trot forward. Cahill attempts an outrageous overheard kick before Lescott goes down under a Vidic challenge. Everton ask for a penalty, but it isn't given by Mr Halsey.
A languid Berbatov cruises goalwards and lays off to Tevez. The striker shoots again but again his effort is collected by Howard.
It's very scrappy at Old Trafford. Moyes is looking rather tense on the touchline as his options on the bench are limited at best.
Osman cuts in from the left and gives the ball to Arteta. Anichebe gives away a throw-in and tevez's first-time ball finds Berbatov.
Berbatov's clever chip goes over the top and the tenacious Park almost gets goalside of Hibbert, who eventually clears.
As I say that Everton, quite typically, create a chance as Cahill lays the ball off the Pienaar. His shot flies over van der Sar's crossbar. Poor effort from the Bafana Bafana international.
Tevez's shot is blocked and Howard tips it over the bar. United have another half chance from the corner but Everton clear their lines.
Tevez turns his marker and drives forward and shoots. He probably should have passed, but no matter, as Carrick wins a free-kick ont he edge of the area thanks to a clumsy tackle from Pienaar.
Hibbert dribbles down the right but with no option ahead of him he knocks in a weak cross that is cleared easily by United's very solid defence.
Fellaini is substituted. Victor Anichebe - who has scored once in his last 14 matches - comes on in his stead.
United probe through Ronaldo, but he goes back to Carrick and then Berbatov. Fellaini tries to win the ball before Park runs the ball out for a goal-kick.
Carrick's corner is cleared by Fellaini and United push forward yet again. O'Shea knocks the ball to Tevez and he holds off his marker and angles a pass into the area. The United attackers were unable to reach this clever pass.
United counter through Ronaldo but he passes to Fletcher who gives the ball away despite having numerous options around him.
Dave from Kent says: 'Come on United! Ronaldo to complete a hat-trick tonight, its been long time coming for him!! Evertonians shouldnt be bitter about the penalty it was fair decsion from the ref!' Quite
Free-kick to Everton now. Arteta steps up and fires in a daisy-cutter from some 40 metres. Van der Sar dives to his right and saves the skidding effort.
Arteta attempts to make up for his earlier area and creates something out of nothing. Hibbert overlaps and his dangerous cross is cleared by Ferdinand.
It's taken 13 minutes but the Toffees have finally got the ball. Osman does well and almost gets the ball to Fellaini, who was lurking on the edge of the area.
Berbatov has come into the game somewhat. He hasn't had much of an influence, but he has got a few touches in the this half. Tevez breaks through the middle and tries to steer the ball past Howard, who dives to his left and saves.
Fletcher and Park find space on the right and the former's cross flies into the area. There are three men in red waiting in the centre but they conspire to get into each others way. Tevez follows up and fires a shot over the crossbar from a tight angle.
Berbatov once again proves his class with a deft flick to Ronaldo. He is forced out wide as a promising attack peters out.
Pienaar's ripper of a shot is saved by van der Sar and Berbatov shows some neat skill as the Red Devils counter.
United appeak for another penalty. it's Carrick again who is played in by O'Shea's nifty pass. Lescott certainly made contact with the England midfielder but the ref waves play on.
Arteta's effort from the set-piece is horrible and slices so far wide it probably won't be registered as a shot.
Everton go all the way back to Howard, who hits the ball long. Pienaar wins a free-kick off Vidic as he chases. This is in a promising area.
As I mentioned earlier, Cahill has scored four times in his last eight appearances, so why not back the Aussie to score at 12/1?
If you fancy a flutter why not put some cash on Everton to pull off a what would be a stunning victory at 28/1. A slightly more conservative punt may be on David Moyes' men to draw this match. The odds on that are 13/2.
That's half-time folks. A penalty separates the two clubs and if the match ends this way Sir Alex Ferguson's men will move five points clear in the Premier League. There'll be quite a few arguments about the penalty call. The replay shows Arteta missing a tackle on Carrick outside of the area, BUT THEN his trailing leg does seem to catch the United man on the heel when he is inside the area. I expect lots of debate about this one but I'm going to sit on the fence and take a tea break
Everton will be very disappointed to have conceded in that manner. I'm expecting a flood of e-mails from irates Evertonians now.
GOAL RONALDO. Man United's talisman steps up confidently and fires his penalty straight down the middle to make the score 1-0 to Man United.
Carrick wins a penalty after he is caught by Arteta. A tad controversial that as the Spanish midfielder might not have made the challenge inside the area.
Baines has some work to do defensively and he up-ends Park and concedes a free-kick in a dangerous area on the right flank.
Baines keeps finding space as he runs at Gary Neville's channel, but his crosses aren't causing too many problems. He picks up the ball again and goes crossfield to Arteta who alomost unlocks the United defence with a very simple through ball.
Ronaldo lashes out at Hibbert, who is not giving the winger any space at all. There was nothing much in it really.
Ronaldo drops deep and sprays the ball to Park on the right. The winger finds Tevez with a cross-field pass and Everton's pressing eventually forces United backwards.
The home team counter and Ronaldo charges down the left. He sends a perfectly-weighted pass to Tevez and Everton - under some pressure - clear the danger.
Ronaldo then chips a pass to Carrick and the midfielder shows excellent technique to control the ball and hammer in a shot on the volley which rattles the side netting.
Fellaini lets the ball run through his legs but no one was on the same wavelength and van der Sar collects.
Berbatov, who has been quiet, threads a ball past a defender for Tevez. Baines tracks back and wins the ball with a textbook sliding challenge.
Pienaar's one-two with Baines opens some space for the left-back and his low cross is dealt with by Ferdinand.
Park switches to the left flank and runs at Hibbert, who eventually concedes a corner. It is cleared and Carrick wastes no time in bombing in another cross.
The American goalkeeper punches clear the ensuing corner and Vidic is penalised for fouling the goalkeeper..
Ronaldo then takes another shot at goal and this time he forces Howard to palm the ball out for a corner.
Cahill, who has four goals in his last eight outings, takes a snap shot from outside the box. The Australian mis-hits it.
The first real chance of the match falls to Ronaldo whose effort from the edge of the area hits the woodwork. Carrick played him through.
Park wins a header against Baines in Everton's half and the ball lands at Tevez's feet. He bursts through the defensive line and crosses with Ronaldo in wait, but an Everton defender gets his head to the ball.
It heats up a little as Gary Neville follows through on Fellaini. Free-kick goes to Everton in midfield.
This is better from the Merseysiders as Baines draws a free-kick off Park on the byline. Arteta's delivery went to the far post and van der Sar collects.
Everton's second corner of the match is cleared by Berbatov at the near post. Bit of a waste that with Fellaini, Lescott and Cahill waiting in the middle.
Everton lose the ball needlessly and Fletcher's through ball finds Ronaldo one on one with Lescott. The linesman rules the winger offside, however.
Leon Osman and Phil Neville launch an attack down the right. There is no space so Arteta switches the ball to the other flank.
At the other end Baines curls in a cross after a clever counter from South African midfielder Pienaar. His backheel set the defender on his way, but unfortunately for Everton the cross is too long.
O'Shea concedes a corner as Joleon Lescott finds space after a lovely ball from Mikel Arteta. Edwin van der Sar gathers easily and releases Tevez who takes a shot after a 20 yard run. Blocked by Everton.
Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick have the freedom of the midfield and are able to keep things ticking along nicely.
Ronaldo then whips in a superb cross and the loose ball falls to Park who slides the ball in for Tevez, who takes a shot that Howard saves in a rather chaotic goalmouth melee.
The pace has been pretty slow thus far. Neither side have found their groove yet. As I say that Ronaldo attacks and it takes a fine challenge from Tony Hibbert to dispossess the winger.
At the other end Tevez and Ronaldo combine well and the Argentine striker looks to dribble through the Everton backline. Solid defence from Phil Jagielka though.
Baines' throw-in finds Pienaar and he threads a nifty ball through the middle for Fellaini, who is flagged offside.
Replays of the Park cross moments earlier show that the ball was heading for goal and required a sharp save from Howard.
United are starting to look somewhat ominous going forward, but Everton counter though Steven Pienaar.
Ronaldo sends the ball out wide to Sun-Ji Park and the South Korean's cross is palmed away by Everton 'keeper Tim Howard. Danger for Everton there.
Everton fan Chris reckons: 'It's great to see the main men of the last few weeks in the Everton side after the slight doubt over their names... Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini are looking talismanic at the moment! 1-1 Berbatov and Cahill to score...'
Leighton Baines sends a lovely ball up the middle as Fellaini and Cahill look to break through the United defence.
The Toffees' wall does the business against Ronaldo's shot from the free-kick and the visitors launch their first foray up field.
It's Ronaldo again and he combines well with Carlos Tevez. Everton can't get a touch of the ball and Darren Fletcher wins a free-kick off Fellaini.
Cristiano Ronaldo gets a touch and delights the crowd with a couple of step-overs. It comes to nought, however.
Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini get the match underway at the 'Theatre of Dreams'. United pick up a free-kick after a scrappy opening and Nemanja Vidic builds from the back.
Right, we have Lee Edwards and Emanuel Scicluna backing United to win this one 2-0. They both think Ronaldo will find the back of the net. Stewart MacLaren predicts a 2-2 draw with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta the scorers.
So we're just a few minutes away from kick-off. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on the game...
A Cristiano Ronaldo goal separated these two teams in the corresponding fixture last season and the Portuguese winger happens to be at a rather tempting 7/2 to open the scoring today. The draw at 7/2 also represents decent value for the punters amongst you.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Park, Berbatov, Tevez Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Giggs, Welbeck, Fabio Da Silva, Gibson, Eckersley
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Arteta, Neville, Pienaar, Fellaini, Cahill Subs: Nash, Yobo, Castillo, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Anichebe, Gosling
Pre-match: Manchester United have no fresh injury worries. The injured trio of Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Nani will not figure as United look to complete an unprecedented 12th top-flight clean sheet in a row. Everton meanwhile received a a double boost as both Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill have shaken off injuries.