Manchester United reverted to their early season form in an awful 3-0 defeat away at mid-table Everton on Sunday. Louis van Gaal's side saw plenty of the ball, though did almost nothing with it. That, combined with some horrendous defending on the counter-attack, made things all too easy for the Toffees.
The game's tone was set inside five minutes, when Everton caught United in possession and surged upfield to net the opening goal on the break. Antonio Valencia lost out to Romelu Lukaku, whose teammate James McCarthy promptly took receipt of the ball and burst past Daley Blind and Paddy McNair to score.
United should've been level within a couple of minutes, though Marouane Fellaini skied his shot over the crossbar after nicking the ball deep in the Toffees' half. Despite a string of subsequent half chances, Fellaini's opportunity proved to be their best of the period -- if not the match.
United struggled to get in behind the Everton defence, with Fellaini almost as anonymous as he was against Chelsea last week (only this time he was even more frustrating, and kept giving away a string of fouls).
Eventually, United's sterile possession was punished a second time. With 10 minutes of the half remaining, John Stones lost his marker on a corner with a simple near-post run, powering a header past De Gea and into the back of the net. That was how it stayed to halftime, with the Reds looking distinctly unimpressive.though
Louis van Gaal responded by throwing Radamel Falcao on for Fellaini at the break, though that didn't produce any more excitement and forced Ángel Di María's introduction for Juan Mata just past the hour. As it turned out, that did nothing either, and things went from bad to worse with 15 minutes remaining when United's defence stopped in anticipation of an offside flag that never came, buying Kevin Mirallas the time he needed to seal the points with a third.