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David Moyes says the timing of Manchester United’s second goal proved crucial as Everton’s seven-match unbeaten run came to an end at Old Trafford.

After Ryan Giggs’ early opener, the Blues boss felt his team grew into the contest and were looking the team most likely to score the game’s second goal leading up to the interval.

However, Robin van Persie’s breakaway strike in first-half stoppage time took the wind out of Everton’s sails and left too much of an uphill task in the second 45 minutes.

Moyes said: “I thought they [Manchester United] played very well during the opening period, but I didn’t think we helped ourselves.

“We got back into it but the second goal killed it for us. It was unlike us – I don’t know why we were so far up and square at the back. We gave them an opportunity to make a through pass, which Van Persie ran onto.

“Ossie had a good chance and we forced a couple of corner kicks. We put them under a bit of pressure and I thought we played well up until about 20-25 yards out from goal.

“The problem was that if we gave it away, they looked as though they could counter-attack. Wayne [Rooney] and Van Persie were very fast on the break and were always going to be a threat.

“We didn’t have enough when we got into the final third of the pitch today to make the difference.”

Despite slipping to just their fourth league defeat of the season, Moyes commended his team for fighting to the final whistle.

He continued: “We did great to keep at it, albeit Manchester United had a two-goal lead and have a big game in midweek.

“But I thought our players stuck at it. They kept trying to earn a goal and did themselves proud with the way they played in the end.”

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