Manchester United 0
Sunday 1 September Anfield | Attendance: 44,411
Manchester United slipped to a first defeat of the 2013/14 season as Daniel Sturridge’s early header for Liverpool decided a fractious meeting at Anfield.
The former Manchester City and Chelsea striker alertly redirected Daniel Agger’s header from a Steven Gerrard corner in the fourth minute to send the home support wild.
In an open start to the game, both sides could have embellished the scoreline. Robin van Persie hooked an overhead kick just over Simon Mignolet’s goal, and the Liverpool goalkeeper was later relieved to see both van Persie and Danny Welbeck miss Ashley Young’s low corner.
The hosts passed up two promising openings from dead ball situations, with David De Gea smartly clutching Gerrard’s curling effort, before the game descended into a fractious affair which yielded bookings for Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, van Persie and Liverpool’s Iago Aspas.
David Moyes’ side dominated proceedings in the second period, but without forging enough clear-cut openings. Antonio Valencia, Nani and Chicharito were gradually introduced from the bench, and the latter pair combined to release van Persie in the 87th minute for United’s clearest chance. However, the Dutchman could only fire wide of Mignolet’s near post.
Despite grasping almost total control of the game and reducing the hosts to a defensive mass, the champions couldn’t muster the penetration to reap rewards and suffered a first defeat of the season.
Team: Mignolet; Johnson (Wisdom 79), Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Lucas, Gerrard; Henderson, Aspas (Sterling 60), Coutinho (Alberto 84); Sturridge.
Subs not used: Jones, Ibe, Kelly, Flanagan.
Booked: Aspas, Lucas
Team: De Gea; Jones (Valencia 37), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Young (Nani 63), Giggs (Hernandez 73), Welbeck; van Persie.
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Smalling, Büttner, Anderson.
Booked: Cleverley, Carrick, van Persie, Young.