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Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof couldn’t deal with the pace, energy and movement in the hosts’ attack, while Nemanja Matic and Fred offered little protection from midfield.

As the two teams prepare to meet again at Goodison on Sunday, Sportsmail takes a closer look at their progress – and the problems Solskjaer still needs to fix.

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United splashed out to make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender of all time at £80million, while another £50m was spent on Aaron Wan-Bissaka after his breakthrough season at Crystal Palace.

Paul Pogba has not started a game for United since late September and has just eight appearances to his name all season after a string of injury problems.

Things may be far from perfect now, but Solskjaer made a concerted effort to fix his side’s defensive issues during the last summer transfer window.

They have the joint-fourth best defensive record in the Premier League this season having conceded 29 goals, although their total of seven clean sheets needs work.

And perhaps most importantly of all, Pogba’s ankle issues helped speed up a move for Sporting Lisbon captain Bruno Fernandes in January.

The £68m man already looks at home in a red shirt and is now free to take on the role of chief playmaker in Pogba’s absence.

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They have, however, had more shutouts in all competitions than any side in Europe apart from PSG and Liverpool. Solskjaer has a foundation to build on.

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Both have become integral parts of Solskjaer’s back four, while competition from youngster Brandon Williams has helped improve Luke Shaw’s form.

Although United would have been better off with a fit and firing Pogba in midfield this term, they have learned to live without him already.

The much-maligned Fred has improve significantly in recent months, while Scott McTominay was quickly developing into a first team regular before injury struck.

His agent, Mino Raiola, has no made secret of the Frenchman’s desire to leave for Juventus or Real Madrid at the end of the season, but that now looks like much less of a problem for Solskjaer.

Despite sitting fifth in the table, a whopping 38 points behind rivals and leaders Liverpool, United have made improvements since that nightmare day on Merseyside.

United were ripped apart by Everton 10 months ago and were lucky not to concede more against a side who had beaten Chelsea and Arsenal in their previous two home games.

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