Man United and Lukaku finish with a bang against Everton
Jose Mourinho’s side end an uncomfortable afternoon in rampant style at Old Trafford
Romelu Lukaku was on target again for Manchester United on Sunday. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty
Manchester United 4 Everton 0
By the end, Wayne Rooney could probably be forgiven for wondering what kind of adventures he might be missing with his old team. He had heard his name sung and there was a little, polite wave of appreciation to the crowd. Yet Rooney wore the look of a man whose return to Old Trafford had felt like an ordeal and when he returned to the away dressing-room it was to ruminate on a defeat that leaves Everton in the relegation zone.
The irony is that it was certainly not the must fluent display from Manchester United during these early parts of the season. Indeed, for long spells in the second half they flirted with the idea of letting their opponents back into the match. Ultimately, though, it turned into another rout, their third 4-0 win of the new campaign, during those late exchanges when Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and the substitute Antony Martial, with a penalty, scored respectively in the 84th, 89th and 92nd minutes.
Antonio Valencia had opened the scoring, four minutes in, with a firecracker of a shot and the late flurry of goals means United are not just level on points with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League but have identical records – 13 points, 16 goals scored and two conceded.
They are unbeaten at Old Trafford in their last 33 matches and it is the first time they won their opening three home games since the 2011-12 season.
Everton, in stark contrast, find themselves in the bottom three and these are certainly difficult moments for Ronald Koeman and his players bearing in mind they have now gone six games in all competitions without a victory and have not won a league fixture since the opening weekend of the season.
It is still far too early to call it a crisis and it is worth remembering they have had a challenging schedule since Rooney announced his arrival with the winner against Stoke City five weeks ago. All the same, this is not the set of results they must have anticipated when they embarked on that extensive period of summer recruitment.
More to follow.