Paul Pogba put in a fantastic man of the match display to help Manchester United towards a comfortable 2-0 win at a rainy Goodison Park.
This was a much better showing for the Red Devils than in recent games, their attacking quicker and sharper and their defence rarely troubled.
Everton fans, meanwhile, may have hoped for more ambition from manager Sam Allardyce, with the Toffees not showing much attacking intent until they fell behind.
The first half was a closely contested affair, with that final ball or crucial touch just lacking in quality for both sides and no real clear cut chances.
The energetic Yannick Bolasie was Everton’s main threat, scampering up and down the left hand side and swinging a couple of dangerous balls into the box.
Pogba was an influential figure, driving United forward in counter attacks and flashing a shot just wide from range in the 36th minute, although the Everton faithful thoroughly enjoyed seeing him tripping over the ball while attempting a piece of skill.
Wayne Rooney, facing the club where he spent 13 years of his career, didn’t have a huge impact on the game, his main contribution being to receive a yellow card after a cynical foul from behind on Anthony Martial.
Mata stung the fingertips of Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford with a shot from the edge of the box just after the re-start, and then hit the post a few minutes later with a wonderful long range strike with the keeper beaten.
The Red Devils were now fully in control, and after lovely link-up play with Jesse Lingard Pogba shot wide again from a tight angle in the 54th minute.
But just two minutes later United finally took the lead, Pogba picking out Martial in the D, and the Frenchman delightfully curled a shot into the top corner. It was no less than they deserved.
Allardyce needed to take action, and withdrew Bolasie for Aaron Lennon and Rooney for James McCarthy, Rooney receiving a standing ovation from both sets of fans.
United continued to dominate but Oumar Niasse was guilty of wasting a big chance for Everton in the 70th minute, heading wide from a few yards out when he should have done better.
Everton continued to press but United still looked dangerous, Pickford saving brilliantly from a low Lingard drive.
But the match was effectively ended as a contest in the 81st minute, Pogba again in the thick of the action, setting up Lingard, who drove forward with the ball before curling a stunning strike into the net.