Everton have developed a habit of beginning new campaigns sluggishly under David Moyes but the Toffees were comfortable winners in the end on a memorable night at Goodison Park.
Fellaini sparkled in central midfield for the home side as Tom Cleverley and Paul Scholes struggled to cope with the Belgium international, and he capped an impressive display with a 57th-minute winner.
Fellaini thundered his header past David De Gea from a Darron Gibson corner after the United goalkeeper had made a string of top saves to keep the match scoreless.
“It’s a great start to the season for us,” man-of-the-match Fellaini told Sky Sports. “We started well and we kept going. It was a good performance from us.
“For the goal, it was a good corner and I just tried to get my head on it. We had a lot of chances in the first half, and I felt that if we kept going, there was a chance we would score.”
Everton boss Moyes paid credit to his side’s tenacity against last season’s runners-up and lavished praise on Fellaini.
“I thought that we played ever so well. We had to dig deep at times, but you saw the pressure we had and the saves David De Gea had to make,” Moyes said.
“Marouane Fellaini is good wherever he plays. I think Manchester United not having all their centre-halves available made it a different game. But he scored from a set play, and you will see a lot of that in the Premier League this season.”
Everton defender Phil Jagielka added: “Fellaini is nigh on impossible to mark. In training, we normally pull his hair, but you can’t do that in a game!”
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