Manchester United had just too much against a spirited Everton side as they won 2-1 in front of a packed crowd of over 75,000 fans at Old Trafford on Sunday. After a shaky start to their campaign including an amazing reverse at newly promoted Leicester City, Louis van Gaal's charges had to manage without the suspended Wayne Rooney but were able to record their first back to back wins of the season. The absence of Rooney may actually have made team selection simpler for their manager, as he was able to start with both Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie up front without worrying where Rooney would fit into the formation.

The win elevates United up to 4th in the table as they seek an instant return to the Champions League next season and a return on the massive outlay on transfers during the summer. It was never plain sailing though as Roberto Martinez's side looked to continue their recent successes against the 2013 Champions and came within a whisker of gaining a point.

In a first half where United had mainly dominated, they deservedly took the lead when Angel di Maria side footed them ahead on 27 minutes from a Juan Mata lay off. Shortly afterwards, di Maria warmed the hands of Tim Howard as he was forced to palm a free kick away from goal.

United were almost pegged back in injury time at the end of the half as Everton rallied, with Tony Hibbert earning a penalty.

His burst into the box was curtailed by a Luke Shaw tackle, but the usually reliable Leighton Baines saw his spot kick saved by David de Gea.

Everton were not to be denied their equaliser though and it duly came ten minutes into the second half, when Baines atoned for his earlier penalty miss by crossing for Scottish international Steven Naismith, who seemed to hover in mid air before nodding in.

The Red Devils needed the win to keep their recent renaissance going and were rewarded following a poor clearance by Howard that handed possession back to them. United retained the possession, transferred the ball to the left and found di Maria whose shot was turned in by Falcao for his first goal for his new club following his expensive move from Monaco.

With almost half an hour to play the Toffees were not beaten yet and in scenes reminiscent of their late equaliser at Anfield the week before, they almost drew level only to be denied by the athleticism of de Gea. As they entered injury time, firstly the Spanish keeper saved a goalbound shot from Leon Osman and moments later he produced an even better one handed save to deny Bryan Oviedo. Both players had been introduced as substitutions by Martinez in what almost proved to be inspired changes. In the late scramble, Everton's young defender John Stones was injured and subsequently had to be stretchered off the pitch.

The Manchester side held on, just, to their 2-1 advantage to seal the three points.