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The headlines at Old Trafford may have been dominated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo, but take nothing away from Everton’s performance at the Theatre of Dreams as they came away with a 1-1 draw.
Anthony Martial initially justified his selection with the game’s opening goal just before the break, but Everton new boy Andros Townsend continued his hot streak with the equaliser after a sweeping second-half counter-attack to hand Rafael Benitez yet another positive result.
The ex-Liverpool boss has overseen four victories and two draws from his opening seven games in charge to propel his side to fifth in the rankings as one of four sides sitting on 14 points, and there is the slight possibility of Everton ending the weekend at the top of the pile if results go their way elsewhere.
Such a scenario is highly unlikely, but for the Toffees to be in the same conversation as the big boys is a testament to the way they have gone about their business so far this term, with Townsend and Demarai Gray loving life on Merseyside since their summer arrivals.
The Toffees also boast a perfect record of three wins from their first three home games of the Premier League season – scoring eight goals in that rich vein of form – but not since the 1978-79 season have Everton won their first four at home.
David Moyes’ achievements at West Ham are quickly eclipsing what he had managed at Everton, where against all odds he’s taken a plucky side put together at not unreasonable expense and made them into top six contenders.
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The Hammers in the last two seasons have achieved everything the Toffees have looked to do and then some, qualifying outright last season for the Europa League.
They have continued to do well this season too, juggling the domestic and European fronts with aplomb. West Ham eliminated Manchester United from the Carabao Cup in the Third Round, earning a fixture against Manchester City in the next round and also have two wins out of two in the group stages of the Europa League while still sitting in the top half of the league table and in striking distance of the top seven again.