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1 September 2013
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 44411
D. Sturridge 4'
Liverpool will look to make it four wins out of four when they travel to Swansea after the international break whilst Manchester United will look to get back to winning ways at home to Crystal Palace. Thanks for tuning in for this Goal.com live commentary. Make sure to check out the match report and reaction. Until next time, goodbye!
As for Liverpool, the signs look good and they are proving themselves as strong contenders for a top four finish. It's early days but with the starting eleven still not at its strongest, Liverpool could get even better.
It's hardly been the ideal start to Manchester United life for David Moyes and after that performance, you would think he may dip into the transfer market for a central midfielder. I think that they certainly missed Wayne Rooney today.
It's becoming a regular pattern this: Liverpool winning 1-0 and Daniel Sturridge scoring. Who needs Luis Suarez after all?
FULL TIME: LIVERPOOL 1-0 MANCHESTER UNITED. Daniel Sturridge's goal on his 24th birthday sends Brendan Rodger's side to the top of the table. David Moyes' unbeaten run as Manchester United coach comes to an end.
90' + 5'
GREAT SAVE FROM DE GEA! Manchester United have committed bodies forward and Liverpool break with Sterling, whose fizzing shot is well pushed away from the top corner by the Spanish shotstopper for a corner. I don't think Manchester United have enough time to get down the other end.
90' + 4'
A huge chorus of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' rings around Anfield. What a great start to the season it has been for Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool side. You have to consider that they should get even stronger with the return of Luis Suarez and the additions of Tiago Ilori, Victor Moses and Mamadou Sakho.
90' + 2'
Liverpool launch a counter attack and Sterling does excellently to draw a foul from Carrick. Rodgers' team can see the finish line and continue to run down the clock.
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
Van Persie whips the ball into the box but Enrique is in the right place to head it clear. The fourth official holds up the board to signal five minutes of stoppage time - five minutes of Moyes' time. Can Manchester United find a late equaliser?
Lucas picks up a late booking for a mistimed challenge on Cleverley. This is a good opportunity for Manchester United to put the ball into the box. Vidic is up from the back - he scored against Liverpool last season.
Daniel Sturridge looks to wrap up the points when he cuts onto his left foot outside the box. However, Ferdinand jockeys him well and makes a crucial block.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR VAN PERSIE! He's been waiting all game for that opportunity and as Hernandez slips a clever ball beyond the Liverpool defence, Van Persie cannot divert the ball past Mignolet at the near post with his so-called 'chocolate leg' and it goes inches wide of the goal.
Manchester United have the chance to put the ball into the box and Nani steps up to take the free kick but overhits his effort, evading all the blue shirts in the box. Moyes looks on disappointingly from the touchline. Five minutes to go.
Luis Alberto comes on to make his Premier League debut, replacing Philippe Coutine. Brendan Rodgers is just looking to shore up his midfield for the closing stages.
Manchester United are certainly in the ascendency here and Hernandez tests Mignolet's reflexes with a snapshot from the edge of the box. Can the Red Devils find a late equaliser?
It's a rareity seeing Robin Van Persie having such little impact on a match. The Netherlands international has not received enough service this afternoon and has been well marshalled by Agger throughout.
Liverpool are only ten minutes away from going top of the Premier League table. Only Tottenham can match Liverpool's 100% league record so far this season.
Glen Johnson is struggling after that challenge on Evra and he cannot continue. Youngster Andre Wisdom comes on to replace him.
CHANCE FOR UNITED! Nani goes close to finding an equaliser when he cuts inside from the right flank before striking a left-footed shot from the edge of the box which Mignolet does well to save down low to his left. Moments later, Valencia fizzes in a dangerous low cross which is hacked clear by Skrtel.
Huge cheer from the Liverpool crowd as Johnson executes a well-timed crunching challenge on Evra. Brendan Rodgers is only 15 minutes away from his first competitive victory over Manchester United as Liverpool manager.
Final roll of the dice for David Moyes as he replaces Ryan Giggs with Javier Hernandez. The Mexican has a special talent for scoring late goals, can he do so again here?
Nemanja Vidic nearly gifts Liverpool a second when his weak backpass is anticipated by Sturridge. However, De Gea is off his line quickly to make a vital clearance.
Liverpool may have two new defenders in the stands but it is Skrtel and Agger who are keeping Manchester United at bay so far. The Slovakian centre-back produces another important header to prevent Van Persie from meeting Nani's cross.
Antonio Valencia receives treatment on the side of the pitch after being caught in the eye by Sterling. It seems Cleverley is slotting into an unfamiliar right-back role for the time being.
This time Nani does better down the left-hand side and he wins a corner off the shins of Johnson. He delivers the corner himself and Giggs gets ahead of his marker before flicking a header straight into the gloves of Mignolet.
Valencia's deflected cross falls kindly for Nani on the edge of the box but the Portuguese international dallies on the ball and is quickly dispossessed by Lucas. Not the best first impression.
Regardless of the final result, Manchester United fans will no doubt feel that their side is in desperate need of strengthening in midfield. With just over a day remaining until the transfer window closes, could we see a late swoop for Ander Herrera or Marouane Fellaini?
David Moyes has seen enough and he withdraws the disappointing Ashley Young for Nani. Which Nani will we see today? The electrifying one or the wasteful one? Let's find out...
Jordan Henderson has been a somewhat unsung hero for Liverpool today and he makes another crucial interception to prevent Young's surging run into the penalty area.
Brendan Rodgers opts to make a change with Raheem Sterling replacing Iago Aspas. His pace should give the Manchester United defence something to worry about.
Yellow Card Ashley Young
Ashley Young is the fourth Manchester United player in the referee's notebook after tugging back on the shirt of Jordan Henderson.
Welbeck is furious when he goes down in the box under a challenge from Aspas. There was certainly a tangling of legs but he did seem to go down easily. The referee waves away his penalty appeals.
United are looking much more dangerous this half and Young delivers a teasing cross into the middle which causes a mix-up between Mignolet and Agger. The defensive duo are fortunate however that Evra cannot make good enough contact with the loose ball and Skrtel makes a good block.
Daniel Sturridge is the man in form and he looks for space on the edge of the box to get his shot away. However, Carrick anticipates the danger and gets back excellently to dispossess his England colleague.
Simon Mignolet looked shaky from crosses against Stoke on the opening day but on this occasion, he races off his line brilliantly to punch clear a corner from the right. Liverpool's defence is yet to be breached in the league this season.
Moyes must have had some strong words at half time because Manchester United look much more hungry since the break. Valencia bursts his way into the penalty area and Enrique refuses the urge to dive in and concedes a corner.
It's been a bright start to the second half for Manchester United and Ashley Young goes close when his well-struck effort is blocked by Glen Johnson. Can David Moyes claim his first win at Anfield?
Liverpool are definitely sitting back a bit more now, inviting United to take control of possession and break them down. For the moment, at least, the away side are proving uncapable of doing so, as two minutes injury time are called by the fourth official.
The away side are controlling the possession but Liverpool's high pressing game is leaving them unable to progress further than the halfway line. Excellent pressure from the Reds as United eventually wilt, giving away the ball in their own half.
Yellow Card Michael Carrick
United are threatening more and more as the half progresses, Young whips in a dangerous ball which is, once again, cleared by the hitherto impressive Agger.
Yellow Card Robin van Persie
Van Persie appeals vehemently for a free kick on the edge of the area after he feels that Lucas brought him down unfairly. The Dutchman duly gets up and bodychecks Agger, earning himself a booking in the process.
Coutinho and Gerrard stand over the ball, 20 yards out. The Liverpool skipper hands set-piece duty over to the young Brazilian, but he fires well over the bar.
Yellow Card Iago Aspas
Yellow Card Tom Cleverley
CHANCE! The referee is crowded by players from both teams as Phil Jones went down in the build-up. After the storm calms down, Coutinho steps up...and skies his effort. Poor from the youngster.
Coutinho is fouled on the edge of the penalty area by Cleverley and the home support bays for blood. It will only be a free-kick and Gerrard is eyeing up the chance to extend Liverpool's lead.
And now Liverpool break and surge forward. Coutinho drops into space, receives the ball and darts towards goal, but is taken out well after he's played the ball by Tom Cleverley. The midfielder is booked, as is Iago Aspas for asking for a yellow card.
The Premier League champions are continuing to control the ball, but to little avail. Unable to split open the Liverpool defence, Phil Jones eventually sends in a poor cross which is easily claimed by Simon Mignolet.
We apologise for the delay as we have been experiencing some technical difficulties but normal has resumed. The kop is rocking as the home side continue to hold the red devils back. David Moyes looks pensive on the touchline. Can the champions break even before half-time?
Manchester United are passing the ball around and controlling possession, but are struggling to break down and breach an organised and hard-working Liverpool outfit. David Moyes does not look pleased on the sidelines.
The corner is curled into the box by Young but, somehow, misses everyone, eventually falling to Van Persie at the back post. The Dutchman is caught by surprise though and it bounces off his shin and away from danger.
Lucas gives away a free kick to the right of the Liverpool area and Giggs prepares to swing it in once again. Nothing doing though as it's deflected behind for a corner.
Welbeck and Gerrard fire efforts goalwards in quick succession as the relentless pace of the opening few minutes refuses to subside. Both strikers fail to really trouble either goalkeeper though as they claim with ease.
Manchester United begin to threaten but Agger snuffs out the danger again with another impressive headed clearance from a Jones cross.
Liverpool really have dominated the opening of this game; they are first to every ball in midfield as Carrick and Cleverley struggle to assert themselves on this contest.
Coutinho, in typical fashion, picks up the ball deep and sidesteps Cleverley with aplomb. The diminutive Brazilian runs at goal before firing a speculative effort wide of the goal.
Manchester United attempt to form an immediate response as Welbeck is fouled by Enrique in a dangerous position down the right wing. Giggs knocks the ball deep into the box, allowing Evra to head the ball back into the mix. Van Persie attempts an acrobatic overhead kick but gets it slightly wrong as it flies harmlessly over the bar.
Assist Daniel Agger
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOAL! Liverpool capitalise brilliantly on the ensuing corner as Sturridge gets his third in three PL games! Agger heads Gerrard's set-piece goalwards and the former Chelsea man is there to divert the ball past De Gea in the United goal. A truly incredibly start for the Reds!
The game has got off to a lively start here, no doubt aided by the incredibly atmosphere created by both sets of support. Sturridge gets his first shot of the day in after Young dallies on the ball on the edge of his own area. Ferdinand does well though, deflecting the effort behind for a corner.
The away side make a decent start as Giggs already forces Mignolet into action, albeit by virtue of a misplaced cross after Agger's clearance fell to him on the edge of the area. He probably should have done better with that cross, in all honesty.
And we're underway! Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie get proceedings started, kicking off what we hope will be a vastly enjoyable game.
A minute's applause for Liverpool legend Bill Shankly precedes the kick-off here; it would have been the former Reds manager's 100th birthday tomorrow, making today's occasion all the more special.
Both teams are now out on the pitch and receive a predictably rapturous reception as we are just minutes away from kick off here at Anfield.
Wayne Rooney is, yet again, the centre of attention in terms of Manchester United's team selection as the striker is ruled out of today's proceedings with a head injury. Ryan Giggs comes in to replace him, while Ashley Young also displaces Antonio Valencia in the only other change from the starting eleven that drew 0-0 against Chelsea.
Liverpool make one change from the side that managed a 1-0 win against Aston Villa as Martin Skrtel replaces the injured Kolo Toure, while Daniel Sturridge, the match-winner against both the Villans and Stoke, leads the line once again.
Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Giggs; Welbeck, van Persie. Subs: Anderson, Smalling, Lindegaard, Hernandez, Nani, Valencia, Buttner.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique; Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson; Aspas, Coutinho, Sturridge. Subs: Brad Jones, Alberto, Sterling, Ibe, Kelly, Flanagan, Wisdom.
And here come the team line-ups...
Although it's still early in the season, one cannot help but feel that this could be a pivotal fixture for both of these sides as they attempt to set their stall out for the season with three points here. Liverpool have started well, claiming two 1-0 wins in a row, albeit at the expense of limited opposition in the form of Stoke and Aston Villa; this fixture is the Reds' first real challenge of the campaign as Brendan Rodgers and his men attempt to prove they are capable of a top four finish. David Moyes, meanwhile, must be keen to silence those doubters that have raised question marks over his transfer activity, while also breaking an unenviable record as he endeavours to claim his first ever win at Anfield on what will be his thirteenth attempt. With so much to play for, coupled with the long-standing rivalry between these sides, the stakes are high – this could be a cracker!
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester United, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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