Manchester United put a smile back on Jose Mourinho’s face as fine goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard sealed a 2-0 win over Everton, while Liverpool left it late to snatch a 2-1 victory at Burnley on Monday.
Martial started in the absence of the injured Romelu Lukaku and the United forward broke the deadlock in the 57th minute at Goodison Park.
Paul Pogba teed up Martial on the edge of the area and he stroked a sublime finish into the top corner for his ninth goal of the season.
Having struggled towards the end of 2017, United were more commanding in their first match of the new year and Lingard wrapped up the points with a superb solo strike in the 81st minute.
The winger beat several Everton players before curling home from 20 yards for his fourth goal in his last five appearances.
It was a welcome tonic for Mourinho amid reports the United manager is beginning to lose the support of his players after branding them “childish” and “immature” and admitting the squad needs major investment to catch City.
United moved back into second place in the Premier League after ending a frustrating run of three successive draws.
United are 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, who host Watford on Tuesday, and two points ahead of third placed Chelsea, who play Arsenal on Wednesday.