Premier League
Man UtdManchester United2EvertonEverton1

Manchester United 2-1 Everton

By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Radamel Falcao
Falcao is on a season-long loan from French side Monaco
  • United into top four for first time in more than a year
  • Falcao's winner is his first goal for the club
  • United win successive PL games for first time in 2014-15
  • Everton have won one of seven league games

Manchester United returned to the Premier League's top four for the first time in more than a year as Radamel Falcao's first United goal proved decisive against Everton.

Angel Di Maria's calm finish gave the hosts a lead that survived to half-time as Leighton Baines saw a penalty saved.

Baines picked out Steven Naismith to nod in an equaliser and Falcao cleared a Phil Jagielka header off the line.

But Falcao stabbed in from Di Maria's shot to grab the winner.

Everton, who have won only one of their first seven league games, could easily have taken something from the game but Bryan Oviedo, who scored the winner in the fixture last season, was denied by a tremendous stoppage-time save from David De Gea.

De Gea was fantastic - Van Gaal

The Spaniard also had to be alert to keep out a late Leon Osman effort but, while United will be concerned by their vulnerability under late pressure, the result and the three points were paramount.

Their first back-to-back league wins under Louis van Gaal carry the Dutchman's side into the Champions League qualification places for the first time since they drew with Chelsea in predecessor David Moyes' second league match in charge.

With the international break, their next game is not until 20 October when they are away to West Brom and Van Gaal will hope his new-look side can consolidate their form to ensure more comfortable afternoons at Old Trafford.

On the spot
Manchester United have conceded seven penalties in the Premier League in 2014 - more than any other side

United had begun in buoyant mood, making early inroads down the left with record signing Di Maria and Luke Shaw doubling up on Tony Hibbert, but the opener arrived courtesy of a delivery from the opposite flank.

Baines could only clear Rafael's cross to Juan Mata, who laid the ball into the path of Di Maria to apply a composed finish with his weaker right foot from 15 yards.

Up until that point, Everton's attempts to build attacks had floundered around Romelu Lukaku with the Belgian short of support from midfield, but they posed more of a threat after falling behind.

Small margins cost Everton - Martinez

Lukaku's aerial presence caused concern and he darted between Paddy McNair and Marcos Rojo to fire over before Kevin Friend pointed to the spot on the stroke of half-time after a foul by Luke Shaw.

The former Southampton left-back possibly made contact with the ball but his clumsy sliding tackle on Tony Hibbert gave the referee a difficult decision to make.

However, Baines failed for the first time in 15 Premier League spot-kicks, side-footing an unconvincing shot within range of De Gea's dive.

Baines made partial amends as he picked out Naismith's late arrival into the six-yard box following a clever free-kick routine with Gareth Barry, while anxiety increased around Old Trafford as Falcao was forced into some last-ditch defending from Jagielka's effort.

Never mind the quality, feel the depth
Striker James Wilson became the 30th player to represent Manchester United in the Premier League this season when he came on for Radamel Falcao in the 73rd minute.
United have used more players in only two previous Premier League seasons. In 2011-12 they used 31 and three seasons previously they deployed 33 players.

But the Colombian, who had done little to impress in his fourth appearance since his loan move from Monaco, pounced on Di Maria's mis-hit to score the decisive goal.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez:

"We're disappointed with the second goal. I thought the referee made a major, major error. I just don't understand that decision.

"Steven Pienaar receives a knock and he goes to ground, the ball is in front of him and the referee is well aware of it. He is talking with the fourth official.

"It is a clear-cut decision. The law says if the player is on the ground and the ball is not in a dangerous position you need to stop the game.

"Manchester United attack and the ball ends up in our net - I don't think that is fair."

Angel di Maria celebrates
Angel Di Maria scored his third goal since signing for Manchester United from Real Madrid
David De Gea
Despite De Gea's heroics, Manchester United have kept only two clean sheets in their last 10 Premier League games
Leighton Baines takes his penalty against Manchester United
Leighton Baines had scored all 14 of his previous penalties in the Premier League
John Stones
John Stones, who has made four England appearances, was carried off with a knee injury late on
Sir Alex Ferguson and Park ji-Sung
Sir Alex Ferguson and Park Ji-sung were back at Old Trafford to announce the South Korean's appointment as one of the club's global ambassadors

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 2da Silva
  • 33McNair
  • 5Rojo
  • 3ShawSubstituted forBlackettat 71'minutes
  • 17BlindBooked at 31mins
  • 25A ValenciaBooked at 55minsSubstituted forFellainiat 79'minutes
  • 7Di María
  • 8Mata
  • 9FalcaoSubstituted forWilsonat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 20van PersieBooked at 9mins

Substitutes

  • 11Januzaj
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 24Fletcher
  • 31Fellaini
  • 39Thorpe
  • 42Blackett
  • 49Wilson

Everton

  • 24HowardBooked at 90mins
  • 2HibbertSubstituted forBrowningat 78'minutes
  • 26Stones
  • 6Jagielka
  • 3Baines
  • 17BesicBooked at 17mins
  • 18Barry
  • 7McGeadySubstituted forOsmanat 77'minutes
  • 14Naismith
  • 22PienaarBooked at 26minsSubstituted forOviedoat 64'minutes
  • 10Lukaku

Substitutes

  • 1Robles
  • 4Gibson
  • 5Eto'o
  • 8Oviedo
  • 21Osman
  • 27Browning
  • 30Alcaraz
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
75,294

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamEverton
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home15
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home11
Away6
Fouls
Home18
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 2, Everton 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Everton 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    John Stones went off injured after Everton had used all subs.

  5. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  6. Post update

    Delay in match John Stones (Everton) because of an injury.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by David de Gea.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bryan Oviedo (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gareth Barry (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Stones with a headed pass.

  10. Booking

    James Wilson (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by James Wilson (Manchester United).

  12. Post update

    Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by David de Gea.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven Naismith.

  15. Booking

    Tim Howard (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

  17. Post update

    John Stones (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Everton. Leon Osman tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Leon Osman (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Everton. Conceded by Rafael.