Scott McTominay scored his first Premier League goal of the season as Manchester United stayed on course for a top-four finish by beating Everton 2-0.

United dominated the first half at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the outstanding Jordan Pickford making a string of saves before McTominay found the back of the net.

Relegation-threatened Everton made more of a game of it in the second half, but Anthony Martial came off the bench to double United's lead as the visitors were consigned to a first defeat in five matches.

Victory for Erik ten Hag's side moved them above Newcastle United into third place ahead of the Magpies' trip to Brentford later in the day, but a late groin injury sustained by Marcus Rashford will be a cause for concern.

United started strongly and Rashford shot straight at Pickford after racing clear of a static Everton defence.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka inexplicably failed to hit the target with the goal gaping when the ball rebounded to him after Antony struck the post, before Ellis Simms missed a great chance to put Everton in front against the run of play, scuffing his shot wide.

Pickford thwarted Antony, who was also denied by a great last-ditch tackle from Ben Godfrey as the Red Devils continued to get in behind far too easily.

The busy Pickford prevented Rashford from opening the scoring yet again, but McTominay drilled in with his right foot from just outside the six-yard box nine minutes before the break after Jadon Sancho picked him out.

Pickford palmed a measured strike from Antony around the post late in a one-sided first half that somehow ended with United only one goal up.

United had breathing space in the 71st minute, though, Martial drilling home with his right foot after Rashford pounced on a mistake from Seamus Coleman to set his fellow forward up.

Christian Eriksen returned from injury with a substitute appearance, but the sight of leading scorer Rashford limping off late on will be a worry for Ten Hag.

What does it mean? Red Devils strengthen grip on top-four spot

United moved six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham ahead of their game against Brighton and Hove Albion, and they really should have won by a bigger margin on an afternoon that ended with a concern over Rashford.

Ten Hag's side had 21 shots in the first half, more than any team has managed in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League match this season, as Pickford's heroics gave Everton hope.

United are unbeaten in 25 home games in all competitions, and this was their third victory of the season over Everton, who are embroiled in another fierce battle to avoid the drop.

McTominay strikes again

McTominay scored twice in a recent shock 2-0 win for Scotland over Spain after also helping himself to a double over Cyprus.

The midfielder opened his Premier League account against the Toffees and was tireless in the middle of the park, contesting nine more duels than any other player (24).

Godfrey goes missing

Godfrey produced one brilliant tackle to deny Antony, but he was caught out time and again playing at left-back rather than in his preferred position of centre-half.

It was no surprise that he was replaced by Vitalii Mykolenko at half-time.

Key Opta Facts

– United have won 23 of their 28 home games in all competitions this season (D3 L2), their highest total of wins in a single campaign at Old Trafford since 2010-11 (26).
– Martial has been involved in 12 goals in 16 appearances for United against Everton in all competitions (eight goals, four assists), his most goal involvements against any opponent for the Red Devils.
– United have had 21 goals scored by substitutes in all competitions this season, the joint-most of any big five European league side (level with Villarreal). Indeed, only team-mate Rashford and Villarreal's Jose Morales (six each) have scored more goals from the bench this term than Martial (five).
– The Red Devils failed to convert seven big chances in this game (six in the first half), their joint-highest total on record (since 2010-11) in a Premier League match (also seven vs Sunderland in December 2012). Indeed, they became just the second team to miss seven big chances in a Premier League game this season after Newcastle United vs Leeds United in December.

What's next?

United are at home to Sevilla in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday. Everton take on Fulham at Goodison Park next Saturday.

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