Manchester – The difference in fortunes since Liverpool won 3-0 away to Manchester United in March was illustrated when Louis Van Gaal’s team reversed that scoreline.
Nine months ago the Merseysiders were challenging strongly for the Premier League title and United, having their worst season for many years, would shortly sack manager David Moyes.
After a slow start to the campaign United appear to have been revitalised by Van Gaal and goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie sealed a sixth consecutive league win to keep them in third place.
Liverpool are languishing in mid-table, dropping to 10th after Tottenham Hotspur climbed above them with a 2-1 victory at Swansea City in the day’s other fixture.
That said, it was a flattering margin for United, with many observers making United’s keeper David De Gea man of the match.
The Spaniard pulled off a succession of important saves, mainly from Raheem Sterling in the first half and substitute Mario Balotelli in the second.
It was a typically feisty contest between the old rivals, ending with seven yellow cards, four to United before halftime.
Other statistics showed Liverpool had more shots and corners as well as plenty of possession but crucially they could not convert their chances, and made mistakes in conceding each goal.
Liverpool could claim luck was against them, with the second goal clearly offside but as manager Brendan Rodgers admitted they contributed to their own downfall.
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