Everton moved up to seventh in the Premier League with a thumping 4-0 win over Manchester United, who suffered a sixth defeat in their last eight games.
An acrobatic volley from Richarlison put Everton ahead in the 12th minute at Goodison Park and the hosts were two up at half-time courtesy of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 25-yard drive (28).
Lucas Digne fired home a third (56) early in the second half, and Theo Walcott raced clear to complete the scoring in the 64th minute.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had suggested United’s players needed a “reality check” ahead of the game, while Gary Neville said his “blood is boiling” after recent performances, and their latest defeat leaves them two points outside the Champions League places with just four games remaining.
Everton started the game brightly and it took a sharp reaction save from David de Gea to deny Richarlison early on.
The goal came soon enough though as Dominic Calvert-Lewin flicked on Digne’s long throw and Richarlison was waiting, six yards out, and connected sweetly on the stretch to send the volley high into the net.
The Blues pressed for a second and found it after a rare United attack. Having easily dealt with a corner, Everton countered, the ball was worked to Sigurdsson, and he cut inside and drilled his shot into the bottom corner with De Gea slow to react.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a double change at the break, sending on Ashley Young and Scott McTominay, but it made little difference and Everton extended their lead 11 minutes into the second half.
Sigurdsson’s corner was punched clear by De Gea, but Digne was waiting on the edge of the box and arrowed a half-volley into the corner of the net. The ball was past the goalkeeper before he could move.
The Goodison Park faithful was jubilant and they had more to cheer eight minutes later. Sigurdsson was involved again, sliding a through ball into the path of substitute Walcott with the United defence nowhere to be seen.
Despite a heavy touch, Walcott had plenty of time recover and slip the ball past De Gea into the far corner.
The result was beyond doubt, and it took until the 85th minute for United to muster a shot on target. Solskjaer and his side have little time to reflect on a fifth successive away defeat before they host Manchester City on Wednesday, while Everton will now be optimistic of finishing seventh and potentially claiming a Europa League spot.
-Report by skysports