Game of two halves but United take the points

Premier League
Sunday 13 January 2013 - 1:30 pm
Old Trafford
Man Utd2
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' Skrtel
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57'Sturridge ⚽️
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Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Liverpool upped their game in the second half but it was too little too late, as Daniel Sturridge grabs his second Liverpool goal.

Daniel Sturridge scores against Man Utd

Manchester United ran out winners at Old Trafford in a game that didn't see Liverpool turn up until the second half.  Brendan Rodgers elected to start with just Luis Suarez up front and the reds were comprehensively outplayed in the first half and were fortunate to go in to the break only 1-0 down.

Robin Van Persie scored United's opener in the 18th minute after a period of sustained pressure, and the former Arsenal man probably should have added to his goal tally in the opening 45 minutes.

Lucas Leiva made way at half time for Daniel Sturridge, and the increased attacking threat saw Liverpool being to hold the ball up better in the final third.

But it was United who scored a second somewhat against the run of play.  Skrtel conceded a free kick which Van Persie sent towards Evra's head.  The Frenchman headed in, via a touch from Vidic, as Liverpool's general ability to defend set-pieces continues apace.

From there on in, Liverpool were the better side and quickly pulled a goal back.

Steven Gerrard showing determination to win the ball back, fired a shot that was too hot for De Gea to handle - and Sturridge, showing a poaching instinct Liverpool have lacked for a long long time, was first to react to fire in.  Sturridge had scored within 11 minutes of his LFC Premier League debut - almost as good as his 7th minute goal in his full debut in last week's FA Cup game.

Sturridge had the better of the opportunities to equalise but fired over from a tight angle.  Suarez too was linking up well with the new boy.  Suarez also had time to find Wisdom running goalbound - but the reds young defender slipped as he pulled the trigger - his shot from a good angle missing the target.

Liverpool also sent on Fabio Borini, making his first appearance since suffering an injury early in the season - he was brought on for a lacklustre Raheem Sterling who has gone off the boil in the past month.

Nevertheless, the reds couldn't quite grab the equaliser - and the scoreline is probably a fair reflection of the intial dominance Man Utd displayed.

Rodgers may have to consider if the lone striker approach is one he intends to continue with - because on the balance of today's game - a Sturridge/Suarez partnership appears to have plenty of potential.

The reds suffer their first Premier League double defeat against Man Utd for 6 years and are now a staggering 24 points behind the Manchester club.

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Game of two halves but United take the points

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