EVERTON 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 0 MATCH REPORT By The Blue Echo
A lone piper played to the passing thousands in Goodison Road before the game as 2 Scottish managers came head to head but it was a Belgian that stole the show with an unbelievable performance that gave Everton the 3 points and win our first opening game of the season since 11th August 2007 when we beat Wigan Athletic.
Most of the talk before the game was whether new recruit Robin Van Persie would start after changing the red of Arsenal for Manchester United but Sir Alex decided that a place on the bench was where he would start his United career.
Kevin Mirallas was paraded on the pitch before the game on a very warm evening on L4 with the pitch looking in perfect condition as the Country were looking through the lens of the Sky cameras for this mouth watering fixture.
Nani found himself in Mr Marriner's notebook inside the first ten minutes for a foul on Leighton Baines but was spoken to only seconds before as he disputed a United corner.
Fellaini brought the first chorus of cheers on the quarter of an hour mark with a run inside the box eluding Carrick only to see his effort come back off the post.
United with the quality they have in their ranks decided to slow the game down slightly as Everton were playing with a hunger and determined attitude taking the game to their rivals at every opportunity.
Midway through the first half Nani shot wide after a good build up play only for Tim Howard to come screaming off his line showing some annoyance to his defenders for not closing down.
Former Athletico Madrid keeper de Gea was called upon first from Jelavic then showed his athleticism to back track and tip over a Pienaar header.
Pienaar was seen to be the offender fouling Scholes on the edge of the "D" as United made some nice quick passing. Rooney took the free kick clearing the Everton wall only for Howard to read well and concede the corner.
De Gea was definitely the busier of the two keepers producing another save to deny Pienaar then his opposite number Howard kept former Everton star Rooney at bay with a comfortable save.
The save of the game came just before the break as Everton fashioned a good move with Fellaini's downward header finding Osman whose effort was clawed away then denied free kick master Baines moments later.
Sir Alex Ferguson comes pitch side 5 minutes from the break making his presence known to his players as United were very much the 2nd best of the first 45.
HALF TIME: EVERTON 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 0
Both managers decided to stick with their starting 11 for the second period as the visitors got the game underway attacking the Park End goal.
Everton continued the second half where they left off in the first as Fellaini found Osman who rattled the underside of the cross bar with de Gea finally beaten as United cleared their lines.
Everton at last got what they deserved going in front on 57 minutes as Darron Gibson's corner was met with a towering header from Belgium International Marouanne Fellaini with his colleague Mirrallas sitting in the stand feeling equally pleased for him.
United tried to step it up and look to get even but Everton's stubborn defence were doing a great job to keep out the Premier league's runner's up from the previous season.
Ferguson and Moyes sent their subs out to warm with 25 minutes remaining sometimes it has the effect to keep the players on the pitch on their toes.
Tony Hibbert in his testimonial year did well to prevent the ball going over the line from a Tom Cleverly effort as United were desperate to level matters.
Van Persie wearing the number 20 shirt made his bow replacing Wellbeck on 68 minutes then another debutant Kagawa bought from Borussia Dortmund in the summer was denied by USA international Howard.
Ashley Young also tried to get on the scoresheet with the clock ticking away then Jon Moss the 4th official shows there will be an additional four minutes.
Goal scorer and hero Fellaini went off to a standing ovation being replaced by player of the year Heitinga with the crowd urging Mr Marriner to blow the whistle.
Everton put a major dent in United's surge for the title last season getting a 4-4 draw in April, how vital will this defeat be to them come next May and will this win for Everton be enough to earn them a top four place or a Europa League berth.
FULL TIME: EVERTON 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 0
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Baines. Jagielka, Distin, Gibson, Osman (Coleman 80), Neville (C), Pienaar, Fellaini (Heitinga 90), Jelavic(Naismith 89). Unused subs: Mucha (GK), Gueye, Barkley, Anichebe
Man Utd: de Gea, Evra, Vidic(C), Valencia, Carrick, Nani (Young 78), Scholes, Cleverly (Anderson 85), Kagawa,Rooney, Welbeck(Van Persie 68) Unused subs: Lindegaard(GK), Rafael, Berbatov, Wooton