Manchester United recorded a morale-boosting 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet gave the travelling fans an early moment of panic by directing a throw straight at Juan Mata. The Spain midfielder fed United’s stand-in striker Maroune Fellaini but the Belgian’s long-range chip was well over.
Poor control from Fellaini meant the rare opportunity went astray while the away side struggled to provide their striker Beneteke with meaningful services as neither side registered a shot on target in the first half. Van Gaal made a half-time change with Ashley Young replacing Memphis Depay and he made an immediate impact, winning a free-kick on the edge of the Liverpool box.
Daley Blind opened the scoring early in the second half and saved his side at the other end with a goal-line clearance before Ander Herrera converted a penalty to put the hosts two up. Christian Benetke pulled one back with a stunning strike but substitute Anthony Martial restored United’s two goal-lead with an impressive goal on his debut.
The debutant went on an excellent solo run, beating Skrtel and converting a cool finish into the far corner to mark a dream start to his Old Trafford career. With this comprehensive victory, Louis van Gaal’s side move up to third in the early-season table, five points behind leaders Manchester City who maintained their perfect start to the season with victory over Crystal Palace earlier in the day.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were starting to become more threatening and Blind had to make two remarkable clearances from the goal-line after Martin Skrtel had headed on a James Milner corner to cause a mad scramble. Liverpool continued to press and had hope of a late recovery when Benetke produced a stunning overhead kick. IMAGE/AP