Liverpool made things uncomfortable late, but Manchester United hardly looked like dropping points at any point in their big Northwest Derby match. The first half was a rather dull affair with very few chances for either side, but United looked like the slightly better team. They came out gangbusters in the second half and took a quick lead that they would not relinquish, eventually holding on for a 2-1 victory.
There was plenty of drama surrounding the Patrice Evra - Luis Suarez racial abuse case coming into this match, and Suarez only amplified the non-football talk when he refused to shake Evra's hand before the match started. That didn't exactly spark a great game of football in the early going, with neither team looking great in the first half. Glen Johnson looked good getting forward for Liverpool while Paul Scholes had one good opportunity saved, but that was the extent of the action in the first 45.
Reportedly, there was a bit of a bust-up in the tunnel as the teams walked back to the locker room. Of course, there are no cameras in the tunnel, so only the players and the coaching staffs really know what happened.
The Red Devils went ahead just over one minute into the second half through Wayne Rooney, who scored with a great finish, assisted by some poor set piece marking. On a corner kick, Steven Gerrard inadvertently flicked the ball into the path of a poorly marked Rooney, who smashed the ball into the back of the net with a brilliant half volley.
Rooney found a second just three minutes later, and it came off of an absolutely world class setup from Antonio Valencia, who had a brilliant all-around game. While Liverpool were trying to play the ball out of their own half, Valencia dispossessed Jay Spearing, then played a fantastic through ball into the box for Rooney. He slipped behind the defense and got onto the ball for an easy finish, completing a brace and putting United in a dominant position.
Luis Suarez got one goal back in the 80th minute off of a free kick, assisted unintentionally by Rio Ferdinand. The ball hit off the United defender and he knew nothing about it as it set up Suarez for an easy finish. Liverpool couldn't find another goal, though, and went on to drop all three points. Glen Johnson had Liverpool's best opportunity to score a winner with a blistering long shot from outside the box in the 90th minute, but David De Gea made a brilliant save to keep his team ahead and seal the win.