In a thrilling encounter at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool overcame Manchester United on a score-line of 1-0 thanks to Daniel Sturridge.
It took the Merseysiders just five minutes to grab the lead against the Red Devils as Sturridge nodded in from close range in a crowded six-yard box.
In truth, it was an expertly taken goal that underlined just how clinical in front of goal the 24-year old has been ever since the new year. His goal-scoring ability had come under scrutiny ever since Luis Suarez received his long match ban, however the young Reds striker has more than proved himself after scoring in each of Liverpool’s opening three Premier League matches.
Despite losing the encounter, it would be unfair to say that United didn’t deserve something out of the game as they completely monopolised possession for large periods of the second half.
However, Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool defended with vigour and vigilance whenever the visitors were prowling around the box, and did extremely well to keep them out for the 95 minutes of the tie.
Add to this, the fact that Steven Gerrard and company limited United’s ability to break quickly with some great positional movement and well-timed challenges, and one has to admit that Rodgers got this one right tactically.
The Kop faithful are sure to be happy with the result which means that they go to the top of the table for now.
As soon as Sturridge’s goal hit the back of the net, his side began to pressurise David Moyes’ charges, and rarely relented in putting them under the cosh, as they went in search of an important victory over one of their fiercest rivals.
Granted, their were plenty of hard-hitting challenges strewn throughout the encounter as neither team looked like shying away from a 50-50 ball.
However, it was Liverpool’s consistency and level-headed display that won it for them in the end, as United looked dazed and confused whenever they did get a sight on goal.
In particular in the last ten minutes of the match Javier Hernandez had a snapshot that was blocked away, while Van Persie, who was played in nicely by the Mexican, could only scuff his shot wide and into the side-netting, much to the relief of Liverpool ‘keeper Simon Mignolet.
Question marks will now be raised over United’s ability to retain the title they won at a canter last season, as it became quite clear just how off the pace they seem at the moment.
Following a lackluster display against Chelsea last week, United really needed a decent performance to rejig themselves, however they will be disappointed with Sunday’s display. As for Liverpool, with no European competition to distract them this season, they might actually challenge for the league this season – especially with further signings potentially on the way before the transfer window closes.
Keep up to date here with SportsNewsIreland for all the latest sports news