Reds sink United to go top
Daniel Sturridge and Martin Skrtel (AFP)
Liverpool - Daniel Sturridge's early goal gave Liverpool a 1-0 win over bitter
rivals Manchester United in a feisty Premier League match at Anfield on
On a day when Liverpool celebrated 100 years since the
birth of legendary former manager Bill Shankly, Sturridge lifted the
crowd further when he flicked in Daniel Agger's header from close range
in the fourth minute.
Champions United, without striker Wayne
Rooney after a training-ground incident left him with a bad cut on his
forehead, rarely threatened to equalise despite dominating possession in
the second half.
David Moyes's first competitive defeat as United
manager continued his poor record at Anfield where he failed to win in
12 attempts when he was in charge at Everton.
The result left
Liverpool as the only team to win all three of their opening games, a
feat that can be matched by Tottenham Hotspur when they travel to
Arsenal for the north London derby later on Sunday.
"It is a great
win for our belief, last season we drew too many of the big games and
we lost both times to Manchester United, but today was another marker
for us and since January our form has been very, very good," Liverpool
manager Brendan Rodgers told Sky Sports.
"Manchester United played well and we weren't as fluent as we have been but we now have the mentality to get results."
match was preceded by a minute's applause celebrating Monday's
anniversary of the birth of Shankly, the man who did so much to turn the
club into a force, and The Reds ensured they honoured his memory in the
best possible fashion.
Agger got the better of Rio Ferdinand from
a corner and Sturridge, celebrating his 24th birthday, reacted sharply
to nod the ball home from close range for his third in goal in three
The game continued at a frenetic pace with chances at both
ends, although neither United keeper David de Gea nor Liverpool's Simon
Mignolet were seriously tested.
Liverpool looked the more
dangerous side with Philippe Coutinho continuing his impressive start to
life in the Premier League by causing problems down the left.
struggled to impose any authority in the middle of the park, where Tom
Cleverley and Ryan Giggs endured difficult afternoons.
began to grow as the half wore on, with Iago Aspas, Cleverley, Robin
van Persie and Michael Carrick all seeing yellow, and referee Andre
Marriner had to speak to captains Steven Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic as
the players left the pitch.
United stepped up their efforts after
the break, spending plenty of time camped in the opposition half but
unable to create clear openings.
Agger and Martin Skrtel looked
strong in the Liverpool defence and United's best openings were a
ferocious strike by Portuguese substitute Nani which was well blocked by
Mignolet and a late chance for Van Persie which he sent well wide.
Gea was only called on a couple of times as Liverpool began to tire,
clearing up a poor backpass from Vidic and tipping over a late strike
from Raheem Sterling.
"I thought we played really well," Moyes said.
"We had long periods of the game but couldn't score. Apart from the lapse in concentration for their goal, we played well.
what I saw today, I'm more than happy with what I've got. It's the best
we've played this season. I wouldn't be worried if I didn't add to the
In the other early kickoff, Swansea City picked up their
first points of the season with victory over West Bromwich Albion, who
lie bottom of the table with a single point and no goals scored.
Davies opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a classy side-foot
volley after being set up by Pablo Hernandez who sealed all three points
in the 83rd minute, capitalising on good work from compatriot Michu.
result will come as a relief to Michael Laudrup's side after defeats by
United and Spurs, while even the return of striker Nicolas Anelka from
compassionate leave could not paper over the problems facing West Brom.
Collated English Premier League results on Sunday:
Arsenal 1 (Giroud 23) Tottenham Hotspur 0
Liverpool 1 (Sturridge 4) Manchester United 0
West Bromwich Albion 0 Swansea City 2 (Davies 22, Hernandez 83)
Cardiff City 0 Everton 0
Crystal Palace 3 (Gabbidon 9, Gayle 79-pen, O'Keefe 90) Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 64)
Manchester City 2 (Negredo 65, Toure 90) Hull City 0
Newcastle United 1 (Ben Arfa 86) Fulham 0
Norwich City 1 (Redmond 68) Southampton 0
West Ham United 0 Stoke City 1 (Pennant 82)