Manchester United continued their impressive start to their Premier League season with a 4-0 dismantling of Everton on Sunday. A goal of the season contender from Antonio Valencia, was followed up by late goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial to ensure the home side picked up the three points. The result leaves Everton with four consecutive defeats and languishing in the bottom three following a difficult run of fixtures. Here's five things we learned from the...
Are United the Real Deal?
United have started the season superbly and are being labelled as one of the main contenders for the title when it comes down to it in May.
History has shown that for teams to win the title they tend to grind out results without playing well. Something the Red Devils weren't doing last season, when they ended up drawing 15 games.
On today's inspection it seems that Jose Mourinho's team are reformed taking the lead early, before having David de Gea to thank for two vital saves with the score at 1-0. To win 4-0 and not play well for over half of the match shows that United may have what it takes to win the title this term,
Everton's Defensive Vulnerability
Ronald Koeman chose to revert to a back 5 for Sunday's game at Old Trafford, with Michael Keane, Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka in the centre and the width provided by Cuco Martina and Leighton Baines.
Although the backline has the experience of Williams, Jagielka and Baines, they struggled to cope with the pace and power of the United frontline, making numerous errors one of which was punished by Mkhitaryan.
Keane has struggled to adapt to life at Goodison Park and at times in the first half Everton found that they had everyone in their own half trying to keep the home side out. With the worst goal difference in the league Koeman will need to turn it around if he wants to get the Toffees to where they want to be.
Struggles Without Pogba
Pogba's absence in the centre of midfield against Everton was noticeable, as the away side dominated the ball for much of the second half.
Mourinho decided to start with Maroune Fellaini, Nemanja Matic and Mkhitaryan in the centre of midfield and it was clear to see they were missing the influence of Pogba following his superb start to the season.
With the Frenchmen set to be out for up to eight weeks, United will hope that they can find a solution with more important games approaching they cannot afford to be dominated in the centre of the park.
Despite a summer of high profile attacking reinforcements, Sunday's performance shows that Everton are lacking the bite they possessed in the final third last year since the departure of Romelu Lukaku.
Before the game they had only registered seven shots on target in their opening four matches, scoring only two. Another blank against United meant it was four games without a goal in all competitions for Koeman's men.
With Lukaku scoring five in five for his new side in the league, Everton's failure to replace him with a big name striker looks to be having an impact on their performances.
Gap Between Top Six and the Rest?
After spending £140m this summer it was expected that Everton could well threaten to break into the 'top six' that has been so apparent for a number of years.
A testing opening five games that has included trips to Manchester City, Chelsea and United, as well as a home match against Spurs means the Toffees have played four of last season's top six in their opening five matches.
With one point and one goal in those four games, talks of Koeman's side breaking into the top six have been quietened showing that there is still a long way to go for Everton and the rest of the Premier League if they are going to challenge the big teams.