It's always the hope that kills you - starting the 21/22 season in disappointment at Goodison Park. Regardless of the result, its great to be back!
Goodison Park was bouncing as it welcomed back a full house for the first time since March 2020.
But the fervent atmosphere soon turned when Michael Keane gifted an opener for our debutant Adam Armstrong, who joined from Blackburn earlier this week, as he latched on to Che Adams' ball to curl into the top corner.
Everton then struggled for the rest of the first half, but Benitez's decision to put Richarlison up front paid off immediately after the break as he poked home from debutant Andros Townsend's header.
First, Abdoulaye Doucoure turned in the penalty box before smashing into the top corner.
And Benitez's tactical switch proved a masterstroke as Richarlison, fresh from an Olympic gold medal with Brazil at Tokyo 2020, crossed for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score with a diving header at the near post.
There was also a fine debut for Demarai Gray, who never stopped running and provided plenty of ammunition for the Everton strikers.
United at home next... another tough game.