Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday to increase the pressure on Brendan Rodgers. Two first half goals from Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata had the game effectively put to bed before half time. Robin Van Persie then stroked the ball home halfway through the second half to secure United’s 6th straight win and exact revenge for Liverpool 3-0 win in the same fixture last season.
The game was very even throughout the first 10 minutes or so with Liverpool seemingly creating the better chances of the two teams. Raheem Sterling found himself played through by Adam Lallana after 15 minutes but his shot was saved smartly by David De Gea who made himself big. Twenty-five seconds later Liverpool were made to pay for missing the chance as the resulting Manchester United was converted to make it 1-0. Valencia did well to work his way past Alberto Moreno and Joe Allen before cutting the ball back to Wayne Rooney who calmly slotted the ball home past Brad Jones who had already committed to diving in the opposite direction.
With five minutes left in the first half, Liverpool found themselves two goals behind. A ball in from the left was flicked on by Robin Van Persie and Juan Mata was left free to head home past a helpless Brad Jones. Both the referee and the assistant failed to see Van Persie slight fick on as if they had then Mata would have been ruled offside.
Mario Balotelli came for Liverpool at half time but he was unable to spark them into life despite his best efforts. It was then left to Robin Van Persie to seal the win. Juan Mata picked the ball up and ran at the Liverpool defence. He reached the box, faked to shoot and then played the ball to Van Persie who had the whole goals gaping after Jones had again tried to read the play early and had already dived for Mata’s anticipated shot.
The win puts Manchester United up to 3rd and just 8 points off the top with them recording 6 straight league wins. Liverpool however dropped to 10th place after Tottenham beat Swansea in the other Premier League match on Sunday.