It was United who started the better and Ryan Giggs just struck an effort wide of the target with six minutes on the clock. Liverpool had a glorious chance moments later when Luis Suarez drilled a low cross into the box, but Anders Lindegaard palmed the ball to safety.
The home side continued to create chances in the early stages, but Steven Gerrard's strike just moved wide of the post as both sides exchanged possession in a frantic opening.
The home side had a penalty shout turned down after 20 minutes when Daniel Agger went down under the challenge of Rio Ferdinand, but there were no great claims from the Liverpool players.
Liverpool continued to dominate in the latter stages of the half, but they could not force an opening. Meanwhile, they were reduced to 10 men late on when Jonjo Shelvey was dismissed for a high challenge on Jonny Evans.