JAVIER HERNANDEZ got Manchester United back on track with the winner at Goodison Park.
The Mexican struck in the 19th minute to hand Alex Ferguson's a much-needed victory after last week's 6-1 drubbing to rivals City.
And the clean sheet kept by United's humilated defence will also hand the champions a big confidence boost. It was an efficient, if uninspiring win for United but one that keeps them within touching distance of pace-setters City.
Despite Seamus Coleman testing David de Gea in the opening minutes, United dominated from the start.
Danny Welbeck burst into the area before finding Ji-Sung Park who was denied by Everton keeper Tim Howard.
Wayne Rooney was next to threaten, although he was impeded referee Mark Halsey before stabbing wide.
The opener came thanks to a combination of typically impressive movement from Hernandez and poor defending from Leighton Baines.
Welbeck found Patrice Evra bursting down the left and the Frenchman's cross was inch-perfect for his Mexican team-mate to tap in.
The space Hernandez found at the back post would have left Toffees boss David Moyes fuming.
But the goals sparked Everton into life and Leon Osman first won a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Striker Louis Saha shot into the wall before the ball was worked back in and Osman forced De Gea to save.
Marouane Fellaini won another free-kick in a good position five minutes before the break.
Baines almost made up for his defensive efforts as he stepped up and curled a superb effort against the crossbar.
Saha had another couple of opportunities before the break but failed to trouble De Gea either time.
Welbeck raced through in the opening moments of the second half but the striker was unable to control the final ball. Jack Rodwell extended De Gea for the first time when he cut inside onto his left foot from the right but the Spaniard produced a fine save.
United immediately countered as Tom Cleverley released Hernandez with a brilliant long pass.
Hernandez came inside but lacked options and slowed, allowing Everton to clear.
That proved to be Cleverley's last major involvement as he limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Nani.
Hernandez then picked out a charging Welbeck with a crossfield pass but Howard reacted quickly to palm out his volley.
Everton pressed again with Saha twice having shots blocked in a goalmouth scramble before Rodwell blazed over.
Coleman got an attempt on target but again failed to trouble De Gea.
The Toffees mounted more pressure but lacked the cutting edge to truly threaten United.
The game went into six minutes of injury time, caused in part by an injury to an assistant referee which forced fourth official Phil Dowd into emergency action on the line.
Home fans wanted a penalty when Saha went down in the area but replays showed the Frenchman slipping and colliding with Evra.
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