Final, 3-0 Manchester United: Game over. Liverpool falls to its biggest rival.
Liverpool suffered a reverse of last season’s triumph at Old Trafford, as Manchester United celebrates a 3-0 win of its own. Rooney, Mata and van Persie scored the goals, but de Gea deserves much of the credit for his show-stopping performance in goal for Manchester United.
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Liverpool will be disappointed about the goals it conceded. Rooney’s and van Persie’s came after individual defensive mistakes, while Mata scored from an offside position.
However, Liverpool’s attack actually came to life Sunday, but it failed to finish the many chances it created. De gea turned away most of them, but the Reds would have scored if they were sharper in front of goal.
The loss leaves Liverpool stuck in ninth place in the standings with 21 points after 16 games.
Manchester United sits third.
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90th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: There will be three minutes of added time in the second half.
89th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: McNair comes on for Jones, as Manchester United makes its final substitution.
87th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Jones saves van Persie’s shot after the striker fired a half-volley on goal.
85th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Balotelli runs onto Markovic’s pass and shoots from inside Manchester United’s penalty area, but de Gea makes yet another save.
The Manchester United goalkeeper is impressing everyone with his performance.
84th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Gerrard is cautioned for clutching van Persie.
84th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Balotelli misses the target by a few feet with a powerful shot from 35 yards out.
82nd minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Balotelli hits a sliding shot from close range, but de Gea dives and saves this one too.
81st minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Van Persie shoots from 20 yards out, but Jones saves.
80th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: The hosts are enjoying themselves, as van Persie’s goal has given Manchester United a margin they haven’t opened against Liverpool in some time.
77th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Falcao replaces Rooney, as Manchester United makes another substitution.
74th minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Balotelli is cautioned for a foul on Jones.
73rd minute, 3-0 Manchester United: Van Persie completes the counter-attack, and Liverpool now trails by three.
Lovren’s sliced clearance went straight to Mata, who then passed to van Persie at the far post. Van Persie finished past Jones with ease.
71st minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Herrera replaces Wilson, as van Gaal makes a personnel change.
68th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Liverpool makes its final substitution, as Markovic comes on for Moreno.
67th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Sterling cuts a pass back to Balotelli, who shoots on goal from 10 yards out, but de Gea saves it off the crossbar.
64th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Van Persie side-foots a shot narrowly wide after Valencia’s cross found him at the near post.
60th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Liverpool is struggling to find a rhythm to its play in the second half, as Sterling, Coutinho and Balotelli don’t appear to be in sync.
52nd minute, 2-0 Manchester United: The hosts nearly punish Liverpool on the counter-attack, but Jones saves Rooney’s shot.
51st minute, 2-0 Manchester United: De Gea denies Sterling once again.
Sterling intercepted Evans’ back pass and was one-on-one with de Gea, but his finish lacked authority. Sterling now has missed four chances so far.
47th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Henderson heads Sterling’s cross over de Gea’s goal.
46th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: The second half is underway.
Liverpool made a substitution at halftime, replacing Lallana with Balotelli, who returns after missing the last six games with a groin injury.
Halftime, 2-0 Manchester United: That’s the end of the first half. The Reds are in a hole at Old Trafford.
Manchester United scored early and late, but the scoreline doesn’t reflect how competitive the first 45 minutes were. The Reds created a number of opportunities with their high-pressure defending and high-tempo passing, but they failed to capitalize on them. Meanwhile, Manchester United exploited Liverpool’s defensive errors and converted their scoring chances into goals.
Liverpool will be fuming that Mata’s goal was given. He was offside when van Persie headed Young’s cross his way.
Rodgers might look to the bench early in the second half, as strikers Lambert and Balotelli can give Liverpool’s attack a new, more powerful dimension.
45th minute +1, 2-0 Manchester United: Moreno shoots into the stands from distance.
45th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: There will be a minimum of two minutes of added time in the first half.
43rd minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Rooney is cautioned for a hard foul on Coutinho in the midfield.
42nd minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Sterling heads a shot on goal, but it goes straight to de Gea.
40th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Mata heads in Young’s cross, and the Red Devils now lead by two.
There’s a shout for offside, as van Persie appeared to head the ball toward Mata who was well-positioned at the far post.
38th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Jones intercepts Valencia’s low cross.
36th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Evans is cautioned for a foul on Coutinho.
34th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Liverpool is behind, the Reds remain dangerous as they look to test Manchester United’s defenders at any given moment. This hasn’t been one of those games where the Reds build their attacks through the midfield. They’re trying to find Lallana, Coutinho and Sterling, in particular, who can cause trouble the Manchester United back line with their quickness and trickery.
34th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Gerrard finds Moreno with a perfect diagonal ball, but the Liverpool fullback’s first touch fails him, and Manchester United clears the danger.
29th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Allen is cautioned for a foul on Valencia.
26th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Liverpool is forced to make an early substitution. Toure replaces Johnson, who suffered an apparent injury.
23rd minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Sterling dribbles past Jones inside the Manchester United penalty area and hits a powerful shot to the near post, but de Gea blocks it away once again.
21st minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Jones is cautioned for tripping Coutinho in the midfield.
18th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: The hosts have been more assertive since Rooney’s goal, but Gerrard looks to even things up with a low shot from distance. It takes a deflection, but de Gea saves it comfortably.
13th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Rooney fires Valencia’s cross past Jones, and the hosts have the lead.
Allen and Lallana thought they had contained Valencia, but the Manchester United wing-back dribbled through Allen and crossed perfectly to the unmarked Rooney.
12th minute, 0-0: Lallana and Sterling combine in the box to create the game’s first goal-scoring opportunity.
Lallana sent Sterling in on goal with a deft through-ball, but de Gea blocks Sterling’s shot from point-blank range.
10th minute, 0-0: Liverpool has started the game better than Manchester United. The Reds are looking to move the ball
Seventh minute, 0-0: Liverpool and Manchester United both are playing with three defenders.
Lovren, Skrtel and Johnson are in the middle for Liverpool. Moreno and Henderson are playing as wing-backs.
Carrick, Jones and Evans form Manchester United’s rear-guard. Young and Valencia are in the wide areas.
Fifth minute, 0-0: Fellaini is cautioned for a hard foul on Lallana on the sideline.
Second minute, 0-0: Liverpool puts Manchester United under early pressure. Skrtel had a goal-bound effort blocked off the goal line by a defender.
Kickoff: Liverpool-Manchester United is underway at Old Trafford.
Pregame: While both managers have sprung surprises in their respective starting lineups, none are bigger than what we see in goal for Liverpool.
Jones starts ahead of Mignolet, as Brendan Rodgers looks for extra security in the Reds’ goal mouth. Mignolet started all 38 of Liverpool’s Premier League games last season and 22 of its 23 games in all competitions this season.
But the Belgian has been struggling, and Rogers makes a big call by dropping him to the bench for the trip to Manchester United. Jones, 32, hasn’t played a Premier League game in almost two years.
Rodgers makes another gamble up front by going without a recognized striker. Sterling likely will play the most advanced position in the Reds’ lineup. The 20-year-old will look to jet behind Manchester United’s back line with his considerable speed.
Meanwhile, injuries have forced van Gaal to continue patching together a starting lineup. Marcos Rojo was injured in practice Saturday, paving the way for Phil Jones’ return to the field.
Carrick could play as deep-lying midfielder or drop into the back line as he has done in recent weeks.
Wilson is a surprise starter alongside van Persie up front for Manchester United. Falcao is on the bench.
8 a.m.: Here are the lineups:
Brad Jones (1), goalkeeper
Alberto Moreno (18), left back
Dejan Lovren (6), center back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Joe Allen (24), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Steven Gerrard (8), midfielder
Philippe Coutinho (10), midfielder
Adam Lallana (20), midfielder
Raheem Sterling (31), forward
Simon Mignolet (22), goalkeeper
Kolo Toure (4), defender
Emre Can (23), midfielder
Lucas Leiva (21), midfielder
Lazar Markovic (50), forward
Mario Balotelli (45), striker
Rickie Lambert (9), striker
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David de Gea (1), goalkeeper
Ashley Young (18), left back
Jonny Evans (6), center back
Phil Jones (4), center back
Antonio Valencia (25), right back
Michael Carrick (16), midfielder
Marouane Fellaini (31), midfielder
Juan Mata (8), midfielder
Wayne Rooney (10), forward
James Wilson (49), forward
Robin van Persie (20), striker
Anders Lindegaard (13), goalkeeper
Paddy McNair (33), defender
Tyler Blackett (42), defender
Ander Herrera (21), midfielder
Darren Fletcher (24), midfielder
Adnan Januzaj (11), forward
Radamel Falcao (9), striker
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7:30 a.m. ET: Liverpool and Manchester United both have something to prove when they meet Sunday in a Premier League game at Old Trafford.
Sunday’s game gives visiting Liverpool a chance to quiet mounting criticism by performing at a level that fans have been expecting all season. While the Reds are unbeaten in their last five games, they haven’t kicked their 2014-15 campaign into high gear yet.
Manchester United is on a five-game winning streak, and a win over its biggest rival can show the world that it is becoming a genuine force under new manager Louis van Gaal.
The teams are vying for a top-four finish and a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Liverpool currently sits ninth in the standings with 21 points after 15 games. Manchester United is third with 28 points from 15 outings.
The game still is the biggest rivalry English soccer has to offer. Liverpool won the last meeting, a 3-0 triumph on March 16, but a lot has changed with both teams since then.
Liverpool-Manchester United kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Join us right here for all the action from Old Trafford.
Thumbnail photo by Matt Dunham/The Associated Press