Manchester United’s Barclays Premier League campaign got off to a disappointing start as they were beaten 1-0 by Everton at Goodison Park thanks to Marouane Fellaini’s second-half goal.
The Belgian international was a thorn in United’s side throughout an engaging encounter at Goodison Park and was worthy of his winner, which arrived from a powerful header on 57 minutes.
Fellaini had already hit the post in the first half, and Leon Osman rattled the crossbar after the break as Everton gave a purposeful display and forced David de Gea into a succession of saves.
De Gea had to deny Nikica Jelavic, tip over a long-range header from Steven Pienaar header and fling himself to his left to save the South Africa midfielder's low shot, before preventing Leighton Baines's deflected free-kick from sneaking into the top corner.
It was not all one-way traffic, however, as United had chances of their own, though not as good or as numerous as their hosts. Danny Welbeck had one shot blocked by Phil Jagielka hooked another wide under pressure from the centre-back.
Fellaini's ravaging of the United defence continued after the interval as his header across goal was smashed against the crossbar by Leon Osman with De Gea, for once, beaten.
And the Belgian international was finally rewarded for his outstanding display when former United midfielder Darron Gibson swung over a corner and Fellaini left Carrick sprawling on the turf to power in a header.
United's summer signing Shinji Kagawa had plenty of good touches around the penalty area, including a pinpoint pass for Welbeck, who was denied by Jagielka's perfectly judged tackle.
Kagawa was then set up for a goalscoring chance by second-half substitute Robin van Persie, only to be thwarted by Tim Howard.
But despite a late rally by Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, the hosts held on for a rousing win. For the visitors this represented their first opening day defeat in eight years.
|25 Aug 2012||v Aston Villa (A)|
|01 Sep 2012||v West Brom (A)|
|17 Sep 2012||v Newcastle (H)|
|22 Sep 2012||v Swansea (A)|
|29 Sep 2012||v Southampton (H)|
|06 Oct 2012||v Wigan (A)|