Everton 3 Manchester United 4

Saturday 7th Ferbruary
Goodison Park, Liverpool

Manchester United appeared to be in cruise control going into half-time, with an insurmountable three nil lead. Or so it seemed. In reality, the game was turned on its head as Everton fought back bravely to level the scores, only to Ruud van Nistelrooy steal in at the last to confirm that the full three points ended up in Manchester.

The game started at a great pace, with both Saha and Scholes spurning chances in the first five minutes. On 9 minutes Saha timed his run to perfection as a Mickey Silvestre long-ball reached him at the edge of the box. His lashed shot found the very corner of the net, leaving Martyn with no chance of saving Everton's blushes.

Everton soon regained their composure, only for Ruud van Nistelrooy, who has struck up a partnership with Saha with incredible ease, to take the ball down with his chest on the edge of the six yard box. Unchallenged, the Dutchman was able to take his time to find the right spot, which he did.

At two nil you could have forgiven United for letting up a little, but the Reds had no such plans. Just five minutes later the game was seemingly out of Everton's grasp, with Scholes threading the ball through a threadbare Everton defence to Saha, who was again given enough time to send the ball into the back of the net.

The score at half-time could have been anything up to 6 or 7 0, with Nistelrooy and Saha both missing easier chances than the ones they had scored earlier. Everton's shameful performance resulted in three substitutions, which worked to an amazing extent.

Duncan Ferguson was given the job of fighting for the ball with the United centre-backs, whilst Rooney and Radzinski had to pick up the pieces as and when they came.

Just four minutes into the second half Everton gave themselves some hope. A Gary Naysmith corner travelled across the box, and was met by Unsworth's head at the back post for a consolation goal.

It was another Naysmith corner that led to the second goal, and gave Everton even more belief that they could take on the Champions. This time, it was the unfortunate head of John O' Shea that met the ball, and sent it flying into the back of his own net. Surely a comeback couldn't be on?

Everton duly equalised on 75 minutes, with Kilbane heading home from a Gravesen free-kick. United obviously still need to get to grips with losing Rio.

Cristiano Ronaldo entered the stage for the ineffective Fletcher in the hope that he could produce some trickery. Having narrowly avoided being lynched by an Everton fan, and been booed with his every touch, Ronaldo got his revenge. His well-placed cross left Martyn floundering, and Ruud licking his lips, as the 100-goal striker headed the ball home for a memorable victory.

Everton: Martyn, Hibbert, Stubbs, Unsworth, Pistone (Naysmith 45), Watson (Rooney 45), Gravesen, Carsley, Kilbane, Ferguson, Jeffers (Radzinski 45).

Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Linderoth.

Booked: Gravesen.

Man Utd: Howard, Gary Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O'Shea, Fletcher (Ronaldo 80), Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Saha (Fortune 73), van Nistelrooy.

Subs Not Used: Butt, Carroll, Kleberson.

Attendance: 40,190.

Referee: N Barry (N Lincolnshire).