AFTER the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal before the international break, Manchester United reversed the scoreline to comfortably win at Everton on a sombre afternoon at Goodison Park. Adam Higgins picks out three things we learnt about the Reds…

Morgan Schneiderlin is blossoming into midfield maestro

The Frenchman arguably had his best game in a United shirt since his £25 million summer capture from Southampton with an all-action display against the Toffees.

Restored to the line-up after being left on the bench at the Emirates, he completed more passes than any other United player and provided the shield which helped to stifle the impact of an in-form Ross Barkley in midfield.

His crowning moment was the neat finish from the edge of the box for his first United goal which laid the foundations for a convincing – if not surprising – sixth league victory of the campaign.

Schneiderlin’s constant presence, calm nature and boundless energy was a welcome sight for United fans, also allowing Ander Herrera to flourish further forward, and it’s clear to see he is settling well into life at Old Trafford – particularly on the pitch.

Wayne Rooney can deliver the goods on Merseyside

Much has been made of Rooney’s meagre goal return in his home city – with just three previous league goals for United at both Goodison and Anfield combined heading into the weekend, a record he admitted he has been ‘disappointed’ with over the years.

But England’s all-time leading marksman was on song on his latest visit to the ground he used to call home and sealed the win with his first away Premier League goal since November 2014 – a fine finish that typified his willingness to get in behind the Everton defence.

It was uncertain where he would play from the start but the United skipper – who scored away to Everton for the first time since 2007 – continued his excellent link-up with Anthony Martial in central areas and played his part in an all-round positive team display.

Rooney is often the first to be questioned and the last to be congratulated when it comes to post-match reflections – but the 30-year-old showed his maturity and proved his mettle again with an influential showing which got him through an emotional day following former Everton manager Howard Kendall’s sad passing.

United overcome ‘soft centre’ on the road

As illustrated in the first 20 minutes at Arsenal a fortnight ago, Louis van Gaal’s men have developed something of a ‘soft centre’ on their travels in recent months.

The Reds have struggled to impose themselves in games, defended erratically, leaked some poor goals and have often lacked the killer instinct to kill teams off as well as the resilience to stay in games.

But the aforementioned factors were cast aside and invisible to the naked eye on Merseyside where United set out their stall from the outset and appeared to carry out their individual and collective jobs effectively as a team.

Although Everton failed to show their true colours, a resourceful United kept the hosts at arm’s length throughout with David de Gea only troubled on a couple of occasions. All in all, it was a near-perfect away day display from a United side desperate to bounce back ahead of next weekend’s Manchester derby.

Manchester United tweet (v Everton - 17th October 2015)

Manchester United tweet (2) v Everton - 17th Oct 2015

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