Everton 0-3 Manchester United: Ander Herrera orchestrates impressive Goodison win
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 18/10/15 8:44am
Manchester United ended a run of defeats at Everton as Ander Herrera scored one and made another in an impressive 3-0 win.
Morgan Schneiderlin (18) and Herrera (22) scored within four first-half minutes before the Spaniard laid on a third after the break for Wayne Rooney (62).
Rooney's goal - a first on the road in the league in 11 months and a 187th in the Premier League - drew him level with Andy Cole in second place on the all-time list and capped a United performance far removed from their meek display at Arsenal before the international break.
On the face of it a trip to Goodison Park - scene of three straight league defeats - looked an unappetising follow-up to that Emirates surrender, all the more so given the simmering emotion among the home supporters following the morning news of Howard Kendall's death.
But United were composed on the ball, organised without it and all-round value for a result that keeps them two points off Manchester City ahead of of next week's derby.
Other than a brief spell of Everton pressure after the break United were in total control, and Louis van Gaal's reshuffle paid off as Schneiderlin and Herrera - both back in the United midfield - put the game almost beyond Everton by the midway point in the first half.
Schneiderlin's goal, passed into the corner neatly after Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling had kept a half-cleared corner alive, was his first for United, while Herrera's had more than a hint of Paul Scholes about it as he arrived in the box late to head in Rojo's left-wing cross.
Van Gaal used Herrera behind Rooney and Anthony Martial on the left, and the system worked as Everton found Herrera an elusive presence and struggled to contain Martial's direct running as the game wore on.
The teenager might have scored from Rooney's cut-back before the break, only for Seamus Coleman to intervene, while at the other end Ross Barkley's crack from a tight angle was as much as David De Gea had to deal with.
United's goalkeeper was called into serious action early in the second half, deflecting Romelu Lukaku's side-footer to safety with an outstretched left leg, and Barkley did clip the frame of the goal with a late free-kick.
But they were isolated moments of alarm, and by the time of Barkley's effort United were three-up, Rooney finishing inside Tim Howard's near post after Phil Jagielka's awful pass sparked a quick counter-attack.
The former Goodison idol raised a hand in apology and almost had to repeat the gesture moments later as another poor piece of defending from Jagielka left him one-on-one. Howard won that duel, but the damage was done.
Soccer Saturday Verdict - Matt Le Tissier
From the moment United got that second goal, they never looked troubled. They were so solid defensively. David de Gea had to make two saves all game.
It was a really professional away performance in the Premier League, and they looked really, really comfortable.
Rooney played very well, but seems to have lost some of his pace.
Martial had a quiet afternoon and found himself out wide on several occasions, Herrera got himself into some good positions, Smalling had a good battle with Lukaku. Everyone was tidy.
Everton gave goals away at bad times. They needed to stay in the game longer after the first goal, and the second killed them.
Everton: Howard (6), Coleman (5), Stones (6), Jagielka (5), Galloway (6), Barry (5), McCarthy (6), Barkley (6), Lennon (6) Naismith (5), Lukaku (6).
Subs used: Kone (6), Deulofeu (5)
Man Utd: De Gea (7), Darmian (6), Smalling (8), Jones (6), Rojo (7), Schweinsteiger (7), Schneiderlin (7), Herrera (8), Mata (6), Martial (7), Rooney (7).
Subs used: Lingard (6), Carrick (6), Fellaini (5).
Man of the match: Ander Herrera (Man Utd)