Marouane Fellaini rose above make-shift center-half Michael Carrick to head home the night’s only goal twelve minutes into the second half and propel Everton to a famous win over Manchester United.
United, whose costly 4-4 draw against the Toffees last season played a major part in their title defeat to bitter rivals Manchester City, once again met a Toffees side that was ready for a fight at Goodison Park.
Throughout the first half, the home side matched – if not exceeded – United’s aggression, forcing goalkeeper David De Gea into a series of acrobatic saves.
However, in the 57th minute, there was nothing De Gea could do about Fellaini’s thumping header, which brought the Blue half of Merseyside to its feet and took noise levels within Goodison to an alarming high.
Sir Alex Ferguson introduced the Red Devils’ latest signing Robin van Persie into the match midway through the second period but the Dutchman failed to make an impact on the match.
United’s most significant chance of finding an equalizer came when Tim Howard was beaten from close range but Phil Jagielka brilliantly cleared Tom Cleverley’s shot off the line.
Amid all the talk of United seeking to bounce back strongly this season, the club’s new campaign starts on a similar note as it ended – with neighbors City already edging clear of them.
All said and done, though, this night belonged to David Moyes’ Everton, whose confident build-up over the summer led to an uncharacteristically bright start and may lead to dizzying heights if they maintain their form.