Barclays Premier League
Anfield, Liverpool, England
Manchester United defeated Liverpool by a goal to nil thanks to a goal from former Evertonian Wayne Rooney. The victory moved the Red Devils into fifth.
The home side started well and dominated possession although they didn’t do much with it. That was up until the ninth minute, when a long ball from Lucas Leiva found Adam Lallana with just David De Gea to beat, but his header was straight at the keeper, who pushed it away, the loose ball eventually fell to Roberto Firmino who shot just wide.
A couple of minutes later, Firmino played a good ball towards former Manchester City midfielder James Milner, who shot off-target from a tight-angle.
In the 13th minute, there was a large scuffle following a flailing arm from former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who then appeared to stamp on Leiva’s foot, however, referee Mark Clattenburg kept his cards in his pocket.
In the 29th minute, the home side came close when Leiva played the ball to Jordan Henderson, who found Lallana, who found Firmino, who then found his skipper Henderson again, but the former Sunderland man could only shoot wide.
A couple of minutes later, a long ball was headed on by Milner, who found Henderson, but he blazed his volley well off-target.
In the 42nd minute, the visitors were forced into making their first change of the game bringing on Cameron Borthwick-Jackson for the injured Ashley Young.
Despite some late pressure from the home side, there was nothing to separate the two sides at the break as referee Mark Clattenburg blew his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
The second period began with the Reds on top from the off, again dominating possession in the early few minutes.
The home side came close when Lallana found Emre Can, who did well to create some space before forcing De Gea into tipping the ball behind for a corner. The resulting corner came to nothing.
In the 55th minute, the visitors had their first real chance, after the Reds failed to deal with a Borthwick-Jackson cross, Anthony Martial seized the ball before dragging his strike wide.
Six minutes later, the visitors had an opportunity when Matteo Darmian found space outside the Liverpool box, but he fired off-target, following a corner.
A minute later, the home side came close. Firmino did well to beat a couple of United players before finding his skipper, whose effort was straightforward for De Gea.
In the 65th minute, the visitors made their second change of the game, bringing on Juan Mata for Jesse Lingard.
A minute later, the home side came close when Can found space before unleashing a drive that De Gea did well to tip away, and the Spaniard did well to claw Firmino’s cross-come-shot immediately later.
In the 71st minute, the visitors made their third and final change of the game, with Memphis Depay coming on for Ander Herrera.
A minute later, the home side should have taken the lead when a good cross from Milner was met by Mamadou Sakho , but his header was just too high.
In the 75th minute, the home side made their first change of the game bringing on Jordan Ibe for Lallana.
Three minutes later, the visitors took the lead. A United corner was played short into substitute Mata, whose cross was headed onto the bar by Fellaini, with the loose ball falling to Wayne Rooney, who volleyed the visitors ahead, despite Mignolet getting a hand to it. It was United’s first shot on target, very much against the run of play.
In the 80th minute, the home side made their second change of the game, with Kolo Touré departing for Christian Benteke.
In the 88th minute, the home side should have leveled. A good cut-back from Can fell to Benteke, who found Milner, whose scuffed effort almost fell to Firmino, but the Brazilian couldn’t make enough contact and De Gea gathered the ball.
In the 89th minute, the Reds made their third and final change of the game, with Milner departing for Steven Caulker.
Despite some late pressure from the home side, they couldn’t manage to find an equaliser as Mark Clattenburg blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.
The defeat for the Reds meant that they remained in ninth on 31 points, the victory for United meant that they moved into fifth on 37 points, two points ahead of West Ham in sixth.