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8 - Only once (nine vs Tottenham in Aug 2011) has David de Gea made more saves in a Premier League game than he did today (8). Busy.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 14, 2014
8 - Only once (nine vs Tottenham in Aug 2011) has David de Gea made more saves in a Premier League game than he did today (8). Busy.
A tale of two cities. The re-emergence of #MUFC continues to gather pace. #LFC's worrying slide shows no sign of abating— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) December 14, 2014
A tale of two cities. The re-emergence of #MUFC continues to gather pace. #LFC's worrying slide shows no sign of abating
***FULL TIME AT OLD TRAFFORD***
United win 3-0 against arch rivals Liverpool. They took their chances today, Liverpool did not. De Gea man of the match for his brilliant work in the United goal.
What a strange game! Liverpool, not could of, but should of scored 5!!!!!
Utd Clinical!!!! 3 Zip and De Gea MOM brilliant performance.— Don Hutchison (@donhutch4) December 14, 2014
What a strange game! Liverpool, not could of, but should of scored 5!!!!!
Utd Clinical!!!! 3 Zip and De Gea MOM brilliant performance.
94 - Wayne Rooney has scored (66) or assisted (28) 94 goals in his last 100 Premier League games at Old Trafford. Example.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 14, 2014
94 - Wayne Rooney has scored (66) or assisted (28) 94 goals in his last 100 Premier League games at Old Trafford. Example.
***SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT OLD TRAFFORD***
5 - @ManUtd have had five shots since kicking off vs Southampton on Monday and have scored with four of them. Superefficient.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 14, 2014
5 - @ManUtd have had five shots since kicking off vs Southampton on Monday and have scored with four of them. Superefficient.
***HALF TIME AT OLD TRAFFORD***
Manchester United 2 - 0 Liverpool
United have had two chances and taken them both through Rooney and Mata. For Liverpool, Sterling has had three opportunities, but De Gea has denied him on every occasion.
Liverpool one again very panicky in defence, standing off United and not pressing at all.
Gary Neville: "He might be offside." pic.twitter.com/g9XaCUdQjb— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) December 14, 2014
Gary Neville: "He might be offside." pic.twitter.com/g9XaCUdQjb
FULL TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 3-0 LIVERPOOL
Falcao takes a free kick for United but it's not a great attempt, the ball cannoning off the wall.
Phil Jones is replaced by Patrick McNair.
United want to rub salt in the Liverpool wounds here with a fourth goal, but Jones makes an instinctive save from a Van Persie shot.
Gerrard picks up a booking.
Balotelli flashes a shot wide of the post from distance. That was a pretty decent effort from him.
Van Persie, who has looked really sharp today after some criticism in recent weeks, shoots from outside the box but it fails to trouble Jones.
The United fans are cheering every pass that goes their way here. Liverpool are merely chasing shadows now.
Radamel Falcao comes on for Rooney.
Liverpool have just been outfought and outclassed here today. United deserve their 3-0 lead and could be even further ahead.
Balotelli picks up a booking as Liverpool's frustrations mount.
GOAL: MANCHESTER UNITED 3-0 LIVERPOOL. VAN PERSIE grabs United's third of the game, Mata passing to him before a clinical finish from the Dutchman. This has been a fine display from United.
Wilson is replaced by Ander Herrera.
Lazar Markovic comes on for Moreno.
What a day De Gea is having! Balotelli swings his foot lazily but skillfully at the ball and it looks like a goal as soon as it leaves his boot. De Gea has other plans, though, as he pushes the ball onto the crossbar.
It looks like the visitors are about to make a change in personnel here in a bid to change things up a bit.
Van Persie should really have scored United's third there, but he sidefoots the ball past the post from close range.
Sterling and Moreno try to mount an attack down the left wing, but the referee flags for handball and the move breaks down.
If Liverpool are going to work their way back into this game, they could do with a goal within the next 10 minutes. It's already getting desperate from them, Balotelli shooting wildly from 40 yards out.
Liverpool win a free kick in a central position. Balotelli takes it, but the ball cannons off the United wall. Not a great set piece from the enigmatic striker there.
If United hold on to this lead, it'll be quite some run Louis van Gaal has overseen in recent weeks. They've had their fair share of luck, even today, but let's not take away from the massive improvements that have been seen across the United ranks.
Do not be surprised if neither side manages to end this game with 11 players on the pitch.
What an open game this is becoming, as Sterling runs through one-on-one with De Gea. It's the goalkeeper who wins that battle, despite it looking easier for Sterling to score than to miss!
Is this finally Balotelli's day to repay the faith Liverpool have shown in him? His Liverpool career has been disappointing so far, but let's see how this half unfolds.
Ashley Young loses Jordan Henderson in the box and the Liverpool man does well to get his head to the ball. Instead of aiming downwards, though, he sends a looping header high over the bar.
The second half is now underway.
Mario Balotelli comes on for Lallana.
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 LIVERPOOL
Rooney is shown a yellow card.
Mata has had a poor half but credit to him for getting into a good position there.
GOAL: MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 LIVERPOOL. MATA - lurking in a clearly offside position - heads the ball past Jones from Van Persie's flick-on. What a hammer blow for Liverpool.
Valencia crosses from the right after getting the better of Moreno again, but Jones comes out to gather the ball before Robin van Persie can pounce.
Jonny Evans trips Coutinho cynically and that's another yellow card for United.
Liverpool are knocking at the door on occasion here, but they don't have enough strength to hammer it down. How they could do with a Rooney here in this game.
United are exerting a little bit more control now on this game and it's starting to frustrate a few of the Liverpool players.
Juan Mata is so inconsistent in a United shirt. He takes a free kick from the right wing and it doesn't even clear the first man. That was bitterly disappointing from him.
Joe Allen is the latest player to be shown a yellow card.
Liverpool will feel they are very much in this one still and Sterling is their route back into the game. His pace is a real weapon, despite his finishing being slightly questionable so far today.
Kolo Toure comes on for the injured Johnson.
Glen Johnson seems to have picked up a groin strain and he'll need to be replaced here.
Sterling again works his way into a decent position but he shoots straight at De Gea. The goalkeeper had all the control and confidence there in that one-on-one.
Phil Jones is shown yellow for bringing down Coutinho in midfield.
The United fans are reveling in this one, chanting the predictable chants at Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers. It's up to Liverpool now to keep this crowd quiet.
Gerrard collects the ball just where he likes it outside the box but his shot is tame and De Gea could save those all day long.
There were a few Liverpool players at fault for that goal, Phillipe Coutinho perhaps the worst offender for letting Rooney run onto the cross. Brad Jones dived a little too early as well, it must be said.
It's all United now, that goal pumping confidence throughout the ranks of the home side.
GOAL: MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 LIVERPOOL. That is so, so cruel on Liverpool! Mere seconds after De Gea made a crucial save from Raheem Sterling at one end, ROONEY opens the scoring at the other, making no mistake in slamming home an effort after a fine cross from Antonio Valencia.
Liverpool are enjoying around 60% of the ball here, remarkable stats given their form recently.
Wilson and Skrtel go up against each other on the left wing, and Skrtel's strength just wins against Wilson's formidable pace.
Liverpool are keeping their shape exceptionally well, closing United down whenever they have the ball and turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
Yep, a sensible decision from the referee there as Fellaini is shown a yellow card. He'll need to be very, very careful now.
Marouane Fellaini brings down Lallana and that could be the game's first booking...
The visitors are looking for a bright, fast start here, as Steven Gerrard's corner falls to Martin Skrtel. The defender should do more with the chance, though, the ball meekly tapped straight to David de Gea.
Finally, after all the build-up to this one, the referee blows his whistle and we're off at Old Trafford.
United put their faith in young James Wilson, who makes a rare start for the home side, while Liverpool drop the inconsistent Simon Mignolet, making room for Brad Jones. Team line-ups in full: Manchester United - De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Evans, Young, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Rooney, Wilson, Van Persie. Liverpool - Jones, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Gerrard, Allen, Coutinho, Sterling, Lallana.
Gary Neville is a brave, brave man. Describing this most illustrious of English footballing fixtures as the Dog and Duck versus The Red Lion isn't exactly the nicest way to refer to the club you served so loyally for so many years! That's especially the case when you consider that United have now won five matches in a row, hardly the form of a local pub team. Meanwhile, Liverpool may be low on confidence and low on decent results, but you just feel that there's a performance lurking within this team somewhere. Could it be today that they finally click into gear?
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