Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his team failed to get the best out of £24million striker Robin van Persie in the short time he was on the pitch in the defeat at Everton.
The Holland international, United's big summer signing from Arsenal, was brought on for the last 22 minutes with his side trailing to a goal from the excellent Marouane Fellaini. However, he did not register a shot on target as United failed to threaten Tim Howard's goal in search of an equaliser and Ferguson admitted they lacked a cutting edge.
"We played around him too much, we didn't show enough penetration," said Ferguson. "With Robin in your team you know you want to use his ability against centre-backs in situations he is very good at - but we didn't use him enough."
Ferguson, who saw his side fail to win their opening fixture for the first time since 2008, admitted they failed to cope with Fellaini at the other end as the Everton midfielder dominated a patched-up defence.
Midfielder Michael Carrick pushed into service as an emergency centre-back because of injury to Rio Ferdinand and Antonio Valencia was deployed at right back.
"He (Fellaini) is a handful: he is a big, tall, gangly lad and they just lumped the ball forward to him, that's all they did," added Ferguson. "They worked from that base all the time and they got a goal from him, so it's justified."
Everton manager David Moyes insisted despite the victory, their first in their opening fixture for five seasons, there was still plenty to do to rid themselves of the tag of perennially poor starters.
"We haven't started seasons well and even tonight's result doesn't tell you you have started the season well," he said. "Just as if we had lost tonight we wouldn't say we had started the season badly.
"You probably judge it after 10 games how you've started the season. I've tried absolutely everything to try to get off to a good start so we tried something different this year.
"I am really pleased because they performed ever so well and got a great result."
- Alex Ferguson
- Marouane Fellaini
- Robin van Persie