Everton traveled to Old Trafford hoping that Wayne Rooney could punish his former side, Manchester United. Instead, it was Romelu Lukaku who got the last laugh.
Antonio Valencia’s fine strike gave United the ideal start and put the Toffees on the back foot, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan adding the second even if it did come 79 minutes later.
Rooney went close, but Everton fans jeered as Lukaku hit a free-kick against the wall, only to then score on the rebound and celebrate wildly. Anthony Martial added a fourth from the penalty spot in injury time to condemn Ronald Koeman’s side.
Here are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…
Manchester United’s fitness could prove the difference
10 out of Manchester United’s 19 goals this season have come in the last ten minutes of games, and on occasions like Sunday it has given the Red Devils a rout after failing to appear all that convincing or clinical for much of the first 80 minutes.
Against Everton, United could have been out of sight much earlier on, but they left it late to destroy their opponents. That could be down to fitness, with their stamina giving them the edge as their rivals wilter in the closing stages, and if so then Jose Mourinho deserves credit.
Ronald Koeman should fear for his job
After spending £100 million this summer, Ronald Koeman’s Everton have had a woeful start to the season and looked worse than ever against Manchester United at times. Against Chelsea too, his side had failed to put up a contest and questions will soon be asked if his side do not improve.
Like Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool and Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham previously, he opted for quantity over quality to replace an outgoing superstar, in this case Romelu Lukaku. However, his side lack pace at either end of the pitch and they are crying out for a prolific goalscorer.
Paul Pogba’s absence is a concern
With Pogba potentially ruled out for as long as 12 weeks, United will have to get used to life without the French international dominating the middle of the park. In the first half in particular, the lack of Pogba was clear for all to see.
Where Pogba would normally have been picking out passes to set up Lukaku, the side appeared to be missing that final ball which could split the defence. Without that service, Jose Mourinho may have to make changes to add creativity.