Manchester United's disastrous season got even worse on Sunday as the Red Devils suffered a serious beating at Old Trafford. Liverpool were the better team from the opening whistle, never looked too bothered in defense and capitalized on Manchester United's errors en route to a simple 3-0 victory.
Liverpool's first two goals came on penalties, though they were easy for referee Mark Clattenburg to spot. Interestingly enough, Liverpool were unjustly granted a third spot kick, but that one was missed.
Steven Gerrard opened the scoring from the spot in the 33rd minute, after a handball by Rafael. Although Rafael's hand was away from his body and played the ball, Clattenburg opted not to show him a yellow card. This was particularly significant, as Rafael had just picked up a yellow card for a bad tackle a minute earlier.
United were better between the penalty and the halftime whistle, but still struggled to create chances and failed to capitalize on the one they got. Wayne Rooney had United's best chance to score -- on a half-volley from 12 yards in the 44th minute -- but Simon Mignolet came up with a save.
David Moyes' side never had a chance to fight their way back into the game in the second half. Less than 30 seconds after play resumed, Liverpool were given their second penalty of the match after Phil Jones barged into the back of Joe Allen. Gerrard scored, and whatever good Moyes might have done in the locker room at halftime was instantly nullified.
The visitors remained in control after that and put the game away for good in the 77th minute ... with a dive. Daniel Sturridge did a great acting job around a challenge from Nemanja Vidic, resulting in a red card for the United defender and a penalty. Though Gerrard missed his chance to notch an all-penalty hat trick, United going down to 10 men effectively ended the game.
Liverpool added a third goal only five minutes later, this time from open play. Luis Suarez made an intelligent run behind the defense, though he was lucky to have the ball fall to him when a deflected shot turned through ball from Sturridge fell right to his feet. He was ready and quickly turned the ball into the back of the net, putting the exclamation point on an easy win.
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Vidic, Jones, Rafael, Fellaini (Cleverley 76'), Carrick, Januzaj (Welbeck 76'), Rooney, Mata (Ferdinand 87'), van Persie
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Flanagan, Gerrard (Lucas 87'), Allen, Henderson, Sterling (Coutinho 72'), Sturridge (Aspas 90'), Suarez
Goals: Gerrard (Pen 34', Pen 47')