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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 August 2005, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Everton 0-2 Man Utd
Manchester United players celebrate Ruud van Nistelrooy's opener
Manchester United launched the new Premiership season with a stylish away win against Everton at Goodison Park.

The visitors dominated for long spells and Ruud van Nistelrooy went close twice before slotting in John O'Shea's cross two minutes before half-time.

Wayne Rooney doubled the lead 27 seconds after the restart after Joseph Yobo had ludicrously rolled the ball across the penalty area into his path.

Marcus Bent's deflected volley struck the bar but Everton were disappointing.

The hosts continued with the five-man midfield which served them so well last season, though James Beattie only lasted 20 minutes before injury forced him off and Bent on.

United also persisted with their favoured 4-3-3 formation, the lively Van Nistelrooy supported by Rooney and debutant Park Ji Sung.

The Dutch hitman had the first chance, whipping a 25-yard free-kick just inches over the bar with only 75 seconds on the clock.

United were dominant, with Rooney ignoring the boos to torment former team-mate Phil Neville, and they nearly went ahead again when Van Nistelrooy lashed wide from 20 yards after a slick move.

Everton were subdued but they sprang to life when Bent came on, first Tim Cahill's header forcing Edwin van der Sar to tip over before Leon Osman glanced wide from six yards.

Bent's movement was in stark contrast to Beattie's lethargy and he went agonisingly close with a volley that struck Mikael Silvestre's thigh and cannoned off the bar to safety.

But United got their just rewards before the break, Van Nistelrooy converting O'Shea's slide-rule pass to put the visitors in front.

If Everton were up against it at 1-0, 27 seconds into the second half it was game over.

Yobo's inexplicable pass across his own 18-yard box fell into Rooney's path and the 19-year-old gratefully slotted home.

Goodison Park was stunned into silence and it took 20 minutes for Everton to recover, Cahill attempting to shake the home side out of their slumber by forcing another parry from Van der Sar.

By then Duncan Ferguson had replaced Osman and he was a fraction away from latching onto yet another Cahill header as the hosts pressed.

Normal service soon resumed and United would not have been flattered by more goals. Park had two chances to notch on his debut, mis-kicking once and crashing the second just wide of Nigel Martyn's left-hand post.

But United had done more than enough to secure their first three points of the season and send an early warning to their title rivals.

  • Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
    "We knew it would be a very tough game and it was. But the lads got stuck in and got the goals at the right time - just before half-time and just after.

    "We dropped too many points against the bottom six last season - and we never recovered.

    "A lot of teams are going to come here and find it very difficult to play against Everton."

  • Everton boss David Moyes on Joseph Yobo's error:
    "I've not been ranting and raving because the performance was good.

    "The first thing a centre-half learns is you don't play square across the box - You do that in Sunday league teams.

    "I'm disappointed because the goal made it a long way to come back from."

    Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Weir, Yobo, Pistone, Neville, Davies (Kilbane 76), Arteta, Cahill, Osman (Ferguson 64), Beattie (Bent 20).
    Subs Not Used: Wright, McFadden.

    Booked: Pistone, Neville, Arteta.

    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea, Fletcher (Heinze 72), Keane, Scholes (Smith 81), Park (Richardson 85), Rooney, van Nistelrooy.
    Subs Not Used: Howard, Rossi.

    Booked: Scholes.

    Goals: van Nistelrooy 43, Rooney 46.

    Att: 38,610.

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

    Interview: Everton boss David Moyes

    Interview: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney


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