Manchester United’s miserable season continued on Saturday as Everton boosted their Premier League survival hopes with a 1-0 win over Ralf Rangnick’s side at Goodison Park.
Out of all cup competitions, United were looking to earn a victory that would have moved them level on points with Tottenham Hotspur in fourth.
But their task was made all the more difficult when Anthony Gordon gave Everton a first-half lead.
For the Toffees, hovering above the relegation zone, the nerves showed after the break, but the visitors lacked the quality to get back into the match despite a wealth of attacking options on the pitch.
A late Cristiano Ronaldo effort was as close as United came to a leveller as they slipped to a loss that leaves English football’s most successful club seventh in the standings, three points behind Spurs, who play Aston Villa later on Saturday.
Everton defended for their lives at the death, hanging on for a precious victory that helped them pull four points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, who travel to Norwich City on Sunday.