Everton's past and future collided in a nightmare return to Goodison Park for former manager Moyes whose Manchester United side were outwitted by his successor Roberto Martinez in a 2-0 defeat on Sunday.
The result ended United's slim hopes of Champions League football next season as Everton stayed firmly in contention for a place in the top four with a clinical victory that highlighted their opponents' struggles under Moyes.
The Scot, who enjoyed 11 successful years at Goodison Park before replacing Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford at the end of last season, was booed by the home fans when he appeared from the tunnel at the start of the game.
His fortunes did not improve as Everton took command with a Leighton Baines penalty in the 28th minute following a Phil Jones handball, before the hosts doubled their lead through Kevin Mirallas's low finish just before the break.
Despite controlling possession, a toothless United struggled to carve out any meaningful chances and rarely troubled Everton keeper Tim Howard before falling to their 11th Premier League defeat of the season.
"We had a lot the ball, passing, and controlled the majority of the game," said Moyes, whose side are seventh in the table with 57 points from 34 games.
"But we didn't have a cutting edge and got done on the counter attack. We gave away two dreadful goals.
"We'll do everything we can to win the remaining four games. We are under way with what we are doing to improve next season and try to give ourselves a better chance to compete at the top end of the table."
Everton enjoyed just 38 per cent possession against United, their lowest of the season, but were rarely troubled by the visitors and Martinez praised their "electrifying" counter-attacking performance.
"Sometimes you need to adapt to what you face on the pitch," he told the BBC.
"It was a case of the quality United had on the pitch, we had to be solid, organised and use the dynamic football we have."
Manchester United's board have to seriously consider whether they really want to move forward with Moyes. The clash with Everton wasn't really a big game for the club, as their season is already in ruins, but it was a massive game for Moyes. It was the perfect opportunity for the players to show they are fully behind the manager but their performance was laughable. United's title defence has been nothing short of an embarrassment. If Moyes keeps his job, he is a very lucky man.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Manchester United still have a Europa League place to fight for although you suspect many of their fans would be happy enough to miss out on that. Their run-in is actually very kind (Norwich, Sunderland and Hull at home, Southampton away) but in some ways that is a blessing in disguise for Moyes. Any more slip-ups will be a further dagger in his side. Massive amounts of money are sure to spent in the summer by United, but is Moyes the right man to spend it? Meanwhile Eveton press on in pursuit of a Champions League spot. They will be cursing their defeat to Crystal Palace last Wednesday which leaves them a point behind Arsenal but they will get an early chance to ramp up the pressure as they play the early game on Saturday at Southampton.
WHAT THE MEDIA SAY
Mark Ogden (Daily Telegraph): The worst thing for David Moyes in watching his Manchester United players surrender at Goodison Park was that they would have known how much he wanted to win this game. Perhaps that is why they did so little to deliver for a manager who the majority of them clearly no longer have the stomach or desire to play for. In a season that has produced more tipping points than a council dump, this one feels the most perilous for Moyes. Now it appears as though it is now a case of when, rather than if, his disastrous tenure comes to an end.
Rory Smith (The Times): The manager’s desire to paint an upbeat picture, his refusal to criticise his players in public after every gut-wrenching setback, is understandable; it could even be described as admirable. It is not, though, realistic. The veneer has long since worn off. His stance is designed not to erode the sanctity of the dressing room, to keep problems private. Things are beyond that. He is starting to erode the values of the club. If Moyes genuinely believes United played well here, then the question of whether his standards dovetail with those of a success-soaked club has to be raised.
WHAT THE FANS SAY
Commenter (Eurosport Yahoo! user): The man doesn't know what he is doing, I don't think he has played the same team twice. His tactics are archaic, substitutions are crazy. If they don't get rid of him they are going to waste millions in the transfer market and still be in the same dodgy position with him in charge. It will be no good letting him go on until three months through next season then out him because the money will be gone and a new manager will want more money to get his own players in. Get rid now.
Luis Villanueva (Eurosport mobile app user): Moyes is a slow lethal cancer for Man United. Sir Alex Ferguson was clever in choosing player and tactics to play in the game but he is lousy and inexperienced in choosing a manger for his beloved team. Our team. The Glazers are Americans with no knowledge of football. They understand the value of money and very, very soon are going to see that amount of money decrease. Maybe at the moment the board will have a moment of clarity.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Goodison Park
- David Moyes
- Alex Ferguson