Manchester United were beaten 3-0 at Goodison Park, with the Belgian international and former Toffee having a particularly poor afternoon.
The former Everton star missed a good chance against his old club early on, and was then riled up by his old teammates, enough to put in a challenge on Ross Barkley which saw him booked. Just before that, he had taken a swipe at Seamus Coleman in what could have easily been another booking.
With a poor opening half, a yellow card to his name, and a stadium on his back, Van Gaal wasted no time in replacing the giant midfielder at the break.
Van Gaal earlier in the week spoke of his hope that Fellaini would be well received by the Everton supporters, revealing that he had discussed the occasion with the Belgian ahead of the match, according to quotes in the Guardian.
“I have spoken with Fellaini because I know this,” said the Dutchman of a possible difficult game.
“Fellaini is always dry in his answers. He said: ‘It’s a game.’ ‘Yes, but it’s a special game for you.’ I hope the fans shall receive him like the Chelsea fans received Juan Mata because I like that very much. I hope it’s like that.”
The Everton faithful and their team certainly didn't give their former hero the kind of welcome Mata had at Stamford Bridge, and Fellaini was substituted at half time to stop United being reduced to ten men.
Again in the post-match conference, Van Gaal went on to further explain why the 27-year-old didn't come out for the second half in more detail.
“There were several reasons,” said Van Gaal, as quoted by the Guardian. “The first reason was he was booked and the Everton players provoked him and I was not sure if he should end the match. That is a reason but also because of the result at half-time and of course I could have changed more players.”
It was Fellaini's most under-par match for several weeks, and both he, and his manager will be disappointed that it came against his old club.