Dominant United beat Liverpool despite nervy end
London – Premier League leaders Manchester United have sealed a needlessly nervy 2-1 home win over Liverpool after Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra put rival Luis Suarez in the shade.
United were dominant for the first hour but somehow let Liverpool get back in the game before holding on to stretch their advantage to 10 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City playing at Arsenal later.
Dutchman Van Persie, English football’s in-form striker along with Liverpool’s Suarez, grabbed a first-half opener for United after Evra’s assist and the Frenchman’s header deflected in off an offside Nemanja Vidic to make it 2-0 after 54 minutes.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge pulled one back for eighth-placed Liverpool soon after and the visitors applied further late pressure but United hung on.
Liverpool have had to watch with horror over the last two decades as their big rivals undisputedly crowned themselves kings of the English game, trampling over the Anfield side’s legacy after they had shone the brightest in the 1970s and 80s.
The first half at Old Trafford, which followed United’s 2-1 win at Liverpool in September, suggested talk of the balance of power should be replaced by whisperings of the huge gulf in class such was the ineptitude of Brendan Rodgers’ side.
“Robin van Persie is different class. He produces moments in the game others can’t do and we are glad he is on our side,” man of the match Danny Welbeck told Sky.
“We had our gameplan and it worked really well in the first half. They came into it more in the second half but we got the three points and showed our character.”
United took the lead in the 19th minute after a strangely dour opening when Evra’s cross following a good move was swept in first time by van Persie in his inimitable style.