Uniteds victory coupled with Chelsea's 2-2 home draw with Bolton Wanderers lifted United to 85 points five clear of the champions with three matches to play.
There was an emotional start to the lunchtime kick-off when fans of both clubs marked Tuesday's death of former Everton midfielder and England World Cup winner Alan Ball with a minute's applause.
Ball's son and daughters placed a wreath in his memory on the pitch and Everton's players warmed up with tops bearing his name and number.
Howard Kendall and Colin Harvey, who with Ball comprised the midfield trio when Everton won the title in 1970, were among the dignitaries at Goodison where Ball played from 1966 to 1972.
It seemed at first as if Everton were to mark the occasion with a fine victory as they led 2-0 early in the second half. United. however, came storming back after the game turned on a mistake by young Everton reserve goalkeeper Iain Turner on the hour. Dangerous position Everton went ahead in the 11th minute after Patrice Evra fouled Mikel Arteta 20 metres out to concede a free-kick in a dangerous position which Alan Stubbs fully exploited.