Anthony Gordon scored the only goal as relegation-threatened Everton dented Manchester United’s Champions League qualifying hopes with a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.
The Toffees boosted their Premier League survival bid with Gordon’s deflected first-half strike sealing consecutive home victories for the first time since September.
United remain three points off the top four, although the deficit could be extended to six should either Arsenal or Tottenham win later today.
Meanwhile, Everton move four points clear of the relegation zone after only a third success in 10 league games under Frank Lampard, who was under pressure following the 3-2 loss to fellow strugglers Burnley on Wednesday.
Ralf Rangnick’s side made a bright start as they sought consecutive away wins over Everton for the first time in the Premier League since September 2007.
Marcus Rashford was looking for his first goal since netting the winner against West Ham in January, and it took two brilliant saves from England team-mate Jordan Pickford to prevent him from ending his drought inside the opening quarter of an hour.
Despite having just 35 per cent of possession, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when Gordon’s 20-yard strike deflected past David de Gea via Maguire.
De Gea came to the visitors’ rescue later in the half with magnificent reflexes to tip Richarlison’s deflected looping effort over the crossbar.
Everton continued to press for a second goal after the break, with Ben Godfrey heading over from a corner, while it took an important block from Victor Lindelof to deny Gordon from eight yards.
At the other end, Anthony Elanga fired over and Paul Pogba tested Pickford from distance but, despite dominating possession, United were unable to convert it into an equaliser.
What does it mean? Hope for Everton
The Toffees welcomed United having lost 10 of their 12 Premier League games in 2022; a run that left them just a point above 18th-placed Burnley.
However, they stopped the rot with a crucial three points that also gave them only a second win in 14 league meetings with the Red Devils.
Gordon wins it for Everton
He was aided by a deflection, but Gordon proved to be the matchwinner with only his third league goal of the season.
The winger led the way for the hosts with two key passes and seven assists – a tally only bettered by Alex Telles (12) – while no player won more fouls (three – level with Richarlison).
A quiet day for Ronaldo
Despite United controlling possession for large spells of the contest, Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to make his mark on proceedings.
The Portugal skipper was limited to just two shots on goal. Meanwhile, Fred and Rashford – both of whom were substituted – were the only outfield players with fewer touches (41) and passes (30) for the visitors.
Key Opta Facts
– Everton have beaten Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time since April 2019 (4-0 under Marco Silva), ending a run of five such games without victory (D4 L1).
– Manchester United have lost consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since January 2020, while the Red Devils have failed to score in an away league game for the first time since April 2021 (0-0 against Leeds United).
– Everton have won three of their five Premier League home games under Frank Lampard, just one fewer than the Toffees managed in their previous 10 such games under Rafael Benitez (P9 W4 D1 L4) and Duncan Ferguson (P1 L1) this season, while they’ve won consecutive Premier League games at Goodison Park for the first time since September.
– Everton have gained 22 of their 28 points at Goodison Park in the Premier League this season, the highest home ratio (79 per cent) in the competition in 2021-22.
United will look to get back to winning ways when they welcome bottom side Norwich City to Old Trafford next Saturday. Meanwhile, Everton have an 11-day break before attempting to build on their momentum at home to Leicester.