Manchester United 2 - 1 Everton
Gyfli Sigurdsson scored a second-half penalty but Everton couldn't find a second goal late on
Everton tasted familiar defeat at Old Trafford but it was a result that owed much to poor officiating as well as some wayward finishing by the Blues as they chased the game in the second half.
The match had been evenly poised in the first half when referee Jon Moss intervened with a shocking decision to award Manchester United a penalty when Anthony Martial went down theatrically under Idrissa Gueye's legal challenge in the box in the 27th minute.
Martial doubled United's advantage in the second half with an impressive finish and though Everton would pull one back from a penalty of their own with 13 minutes left, questions will be asked as to why Chris Smalling wasn't shown a second yellow card for his late sliding tackle on Richarlison.
The theme of the build-up to the match from Everton's perspective had been Marco Silva's assertion that he would take his side to Manchester looking to beat the erratic Red Devils and that showed in a decent opening during which they forced the first save the contest.
André Gomes made good contact with a 14th-minute corner from the right but the Portuguese's header was straight at David de Gea who comfortably saved.
At the other end, Juan Mata had a similar chance from Martial's delivery and Jordan Pickford had to parry away a stinging drive from the French forward as the home side began to exert some pressure.
It was when Martial made the most of Gueye's tackle three minutes later that Moss gifted Paul Pogba the chance to put Jose Mourinho's men ahead. Television replays would confirm that the Senegal midfielder got a toe on the ball before the Frenchman flopped to the turf but Moss was conned into giving the spot kick.
Pickford came up big again to save Pogba's penalty but the midfielder converted on the rebound as the keeper was only able to palm the ball back to him.
A great Everton move down the right ended with a Seamus Coleman cross that picked out Sigurdsson but his header was straight down De Gea's throat while Theo Walcott was denied by the Spaniard at the end of the first half.
Walcott had been played in by an excellent Michael Keane through-ball but he elected to shoot from a narrow angle rather than cross for one of the two Blue jerseys in the middle and his effort was beaten behind.
Everton were quicker out of the traps in the second half as well and Richarlison forced a save from De Gea with smart footwork and a low shot that the keeper gathered at the second attempt but less than five minutes after the restart it was 2-0.
The ball was swept wide to Martial on United's left where Walcott had failed to provide cover and the forward had time set himself and then whip a curling, low shot beyond Pickford's dive and inside the far post.
Everton should have been back in the game immediately but Bernard missed a wonderful chance to make it 2-1. The Brazilian raced onto a defence-splitting pass and skipped around De Gea but put his shot into the side-netting when trying to squeeze it between the post and Victor Lindelof on the line.
Then, after Pickford had brilliantly denied Marcus Rashford after his England team-mate had been put clean through and then executed a one-handed save to foil Pogba, Coleman was played in behind the home defence by Richarlison but he spurned a gilt-edged chance with a scooped shot that De Gea may have tipped over.
Everton kept pushing after Ademola Lookman had come on for Bernard and they got their reward when Richarlison was sent sprawling to the turf by Smalling and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. He elected not to show the defender a second yellow for the offence, however.
Sigurdsson made no mistake with an assured penalty and Silva played the remainder of his cards by throwing Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on for Gueye and the disappointing Walcott.
The equaliser wouldn't come, however, and it was United who could have added to their tally but Romelu Lukaku, on as a substitute having been dropped by Mourinho, put a free header well wide and Pickford made one more brilliant save to deny Martial when he, too, was sent away into the clear in the last few minutes.
The defeat snaps Everton's three-game winning streak and they will feel both aggrieved at yet more awful refereeing that has cost them on the road the season while also ruing some missed opportunities of their own.