London: Everton delivered a substantial blow to Manchester United’s Premier League title challenge with a 3-1 win over the champions at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side looked lethargic after their mid-week victory against AC Milan and slumped to their first defeat in nine league games.
The result leaves United in second place, one point behind leaders Chelsea, who can extend their advantage to four points with a win at Wolverhampton later on Saturday.
Dimitar Berbatov put United ahead in the 16th minute when he controlled Antonio Valencia’s cross perfectly before smashing a close-range shot past Tim Howard.
But United’s lead was short-lived as Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov drove a vicious swerving effort past Edwin van der Sar from 25 yards.
United struggled to find any momentum after that and David Moyes’s team took the lead in the 76th minute.
South African midfielder Steven Pienaar whipped over a low cross for substitute Dan Gosling to steer in just his second goal of the season.
Jack Rodwell ensured United would suffer their sixth league defeat of the season in the 90th minute as he surged away from Jonny Evans and drove his shot into the far corner.