Throughout Moyes' reign Everton have generally struggled against the top 4. Aside from a handful of notable and all too rare victories, we tend to get turned over or try to keep it too tight and end up losing meekly without creating many chances. This season - and certainly the last few weeks - has bucked the trend though, with David Moyes sending his side out to attack and cause the other team problems.
The 2-2 with Arsenal was a fantastic performance, ruined only by two deflected Arsenal goals. The Liverpool game was of course forgettable but Everton have now recorded back-to-back victories again Chelsea and Man United - and they did it in some style. There's been plenty to admire - one touch football, quick counter attacks, dangerous wing play and deadly finishing. With key players coming back to fitness and form, Everton have played some excellent stuff and have certainly gone up a level. There have obviously been periods of brilliant form and results under Moyes before, but the team is now playing an altogether different style of football.
As Alan Hansen noted on Match of the Day, it was as if Manchester United were playing in blue on Saturday. Now clearly, we don't want to get too carried away. But this is a very capable side and in players like Arteta, Pienaar, Saha, Donovan and the rejuvenated Leon Osman, the team can compete with anybody in the league a game.
Osman has always been criticised for not doing it against the top 4. He can look a world beater against the rest and has a habit of scoring great goals occasionally, but against the Chelsea's and Arsenal's he goes missing. He deserves a lot of credit then for being Man of the Match in victories over Chelsea, Sporting Lisbon and Man United. In all three games he was immense, playing box-to-box, showing his usual quick feet but also an excellent reading of the game and being in the right place at the right time - full blown tackles and everything.
The frustrating thing of course is that as soon as players like Arteta start to come back, we lose Fellaini for 6 months. Cahill is also out for a few weeks but the team have shown they can cope admirably in their absence and there was more good news that Phil Jagielka will make his comeback in the reserves this Tuesday.
But if things turned out rosy against United, there was familiar look to the fixture after only 15 minutes when Everton failed to deal with a low cross and Berbatov fired in off the underside of the bar to put United 1-0 up. The blues were level almost instantly though, Bilyetdinov picking up a knock down from a long ball and lashing it past Van der Sar from the edge of the box. The ball swerved brilliantly outside Wes Brown and the United keeper didn't even dive.
The Russian had a good chance moments later when Everton carved United open down the left - led by Landon Donovan who Moyes had cunningly switched to the left flank to attack the aging Gary Neville. The American got the byline and crossed low but Bilyetdinov couldn't direct his effort on target.
Rooney then had a good chance for United as he was put through and rounded Tim Howard, only for Phil Neville to get back and get in a vital interception.
Just after half-time, Darren Fletcher fired a foot wide from the edge of the box and from then on it was all Everton, who were tigerish in closing United down but used the ball well when they had it. Dan Gosling came on with 20 minutes to go and made a huge impact, steering home a Pienaar cross after the playmaker had combined well with Donovan and got in behind the United defence. Goodison went mad but there was always a fear that United would come back at us for a spell in the game.
Everton would never let that happen though and kept up the pressure and kept going forward. With Osman, Pienaar and Arteta at the heart of the midfield they had no choice but to do what comes naturally and keep going forward. In injury time, substitute Jack Rodwell put the icing on the cake as he ran through from deep, rounded Jonny Evans and fired low past Van der Sar to make the scoreline emphatic and no less than Everton deserved. Goodison was bouncing at the end, the loudest Landon Donovan has ever heard a stadium apparently!
Confidence must be absolutely sky high for Everton right now and they will rightly think they can beat anybody. Having said that, the next two games are tricky with Sporting Lisbon away and Spurs away in the next week. But why not eh?