Much of the pre-match build-up has been overshadowed by the first meeting of Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra after the Uruguayan was punished by the FA for racially abusing the Red Devils left-back. Will the Frenchman shake the hand of Suarez when the players line up before kick off?
The two sides last met just two weeks ago in the FA Cup when Liverpool coming out on top. United haven't triumphed over their bitter rivals in their last three meetings but do have a far superior record when in Manchester.
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Read a condensed version of today's enthralling encounter here.
FULL-TIME: Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool
A win for United, who go top by a single point with City playing tomorrow. Evra dances in front of the fans, swinging his arms to get the crowd riled. Liverpool's players are angry with the Frenchman's behaviour and Suarez is lurking close by as Phil Dowd has to separate players from both teams.
90 min: Rooney's pure doggedness wins a free kick in the corner and surely that will be that. No changes over the 90 minutes for Fergie, which shows he must be very content with this XI at the moment.
90 min: Just three minutes added time for Liverpool. One of those left as Suarez has a glorious chance but heads over. He can feel somewhat relieved as the flag was up for offside.
90 min: Free kick for Liverpool out on the left touchline. Surely they'll try to test De Gea? The ball is cleared to Glen Johnson lurking on the edge, whose left-foot piledriver is tipped over by the Spanish keeper. Good save.
85 min: Just five minutes and any stoppage time for the visitors to salvage something here and they could well do it with the likes of Gerrard, Carroll, Suarez and Bellamy on the pitch. Sure to be a grandstand finish either way.
80 min: Many may have written the Suarez scoring script before today but he really hasn't looked like doing it. Carrick is booked for a foul on the Uruguayan and the resulting free kick drops at the feet of the Liverpool frontman after hitting Ferdinand. It's the simplest of finishes for Suarez, who prods home from two yards. Game on?
80 min: GOAL! Liverpool pull one back, 2-1! Suarez does it!
74 min: Welbeck, who has been in Rooney's shadow for much of the game, nearly makes it three but his effort is slowed sufficiently by Johnson's block. Liverpool make their third and final change as Dirk Kuyt makes way for Charlie Adam.
71 min: Almost impossible to see a way back for the visitors at the moment. The increased firepower that's been brought on has done very little, with Bellamy looking the most lively. Enrique drags a cross out for a throw in which sums up their second-half display.
68 min: Valencia's pass to Rooney was the Ecuadorian's tenth assist of the season. He's now only behind David Silva in that count, and what a performance he's put in again. Those ten assists began on December 10, by the way.
65 min: Tension is clearly very high between Suarez and Evra. The Liverpool man wins a ball ahead of Evra and is overly aggressive in clearing out of play. Evra produces a wry grin.
61 min: Attacking changes for Liverpool as Dalglish brings on Carroll and Bellamy for Downing and Spearing. Suarez, Bellamy and Carroll now all on the pitch for Merseyside.
59 min: Rooney goes so close to grabbing a 12-minute hat-trick. Scholes cleverly leaves a pass infield and all Rooney has to do is stroke home but he seems a little surprised by Scholes's dummy and the ball is caught under his feet before he pokes wide of the post.
58 min: Evans goes in hard on Spearing and is penalised, if a little late, by Phil Dowd as Rooney pings a shot from all of 30 yards into the top corner. The whistle had gone though.
55 min: Forgot to mention that there was apparently a bust-up in the tunnel between players at half-time. Read more by clicking here. Back on the pitch, Downing's free kick is poor and headed away.
50 min: Oh dear, oh dear Liverpool and specifically Jay Spearing. The midfielder carelessly gives the ball away and Antonio Valencia has the easy task of laying in Rooney, whose left foot finish slides through the legs of Reina! What a start to the half for the Red Devils.
50 min: GOAL! 2-0 United! Rooney again!
47 min: United begin the half strongly and earn a corner, which Ryan Giggs swings over. Jordan Henderson rises highest but he can't head away, only flicking to the back post where Rooney lashes a volley home. A goal on his 350th appearance in a United shirt for the Englishman.
47 min: GOAL! 1-0 United! Rooney!
HALF-TIME: Boos ring around Old Trafford as Suarez kicks the ball out of play with the last kick of the half. Phil Dowd comes over to make sure the Uruguayan gets back to the dressing room safely. Scholes had the best chance with his close-range header while Johnson's curled shot for Liverpool was inches from finding the corner. Second half should get tasty.
45 min: Suarez is screaming and flailing his arms around after sidestepping past Evra, only for Ferdinand to make a superb last-ditch tackle to deny the Uruguayan going through on goal. Suarez feels he was fouled and that Ferdinand should have been sent off. He's plain wrong.
44 min: First booking of the game goes to ... Stewart Downing. The left-winger lets Rafael escape and slides desperately but can only make contact with the Brazilian.
40 min: Suarez does break clear of the United midfield but is faced with three red defenders. His pace with the ball makes Ferdinand back off but Suarez can't find Kuyt as Ferdinand recovers to emerge with the ball.
38 min: Rooney keeps dropping into the pockets of space between Liverpool's midfield and defence and playing delightful one-twos with his teammates. No killer pass/shot from United though.
36 min: United seem happy to give Liverpool time on the ball in wide areas and with only little Suarez to pick out in the middle, why not?
34 min: And now it's Evra who wants to write more headlines. He climbs highest at the back post but can't keep his header below the crossbar. Rooney's influence is growing ever stronger as United press for the goal.
32 min: That seems to have got United going. Giggs plays in Welbeck who could shoot but instead tries to find Rooney in the middle, but can't.
31 min: Big chance. United build patiently before Scholes dinks a clever ball out to fellow veteran Giggs. He jinxes before crossing back to Scholes, whose free header is bulleted straight at Pepe Reina. Would've been a lovely goal.
27 min: Rooney's first sight at goal from outside the area is dragged wide with the striker slightly off balance. The former Everton man has scored just two goals against Liverpool in his career.
25 min: I'd love to see Suarez's pass completion rate at the moment. The Uruguayan, as always, does look inherently dangerous but almost none of his passes are finding their intended target.
23 min: Rooney controls superbly from De Gea's punt upfield but the resulting break fizzles out as Giggs can't find a way past the first defender. Plenty of head tennis going on at the moment for some reason.
20 min: Jeers galore at the Stretford End as Suarez tries to dance past Ferdinand in the box only for the ball to go out of play.
18 min: Johnson's opposite number Rafael performs similar quick feet in the box but his left-foot effort is saved comfortably by Reina.
15 min: Always nice to see Giggs and Scholes controlling the build-up. The former sees his cross nicked away from the advancing Welbeck by Martin Skrtel. Definitely some feeling each other out at the moment.
10 min: Best chance of the game for Liverpool as Suarez pings a pass out to Glen Johnson who runs at the United defence, cuts inside onto his left foot and curls a shot just past De Gea's right-hand post.
9 min: Little happening in terms of goal-mouth action right now so I'll provide another interesting stat. United have never won a game against Liverpool post World War II in February.
6 min: Jose Enrique, one of the signings of this season, is beaten by perhaps the most in-form player in the league, Antonio Valencia, and concedes a free kick right on the edge of the area. Ryan Giggs swings it across but the ball is flicked over Rooney at the back post. The English forward then has a free header from the corner but can't generate enough power to beat Reina.
4 min: Liverpool are dominant in possession early on but that's been the case for most of their season. They've really struggled to score goals as is displayed in the following stat; Wayne Rooney has scored more goals (15) than the entire Liverpool starting XI today (12).
1 min: Suarez has already caused an incident on the pitch too. He chases a loose ball with Ferdinand and the Englishman gets there first only to collide with Evra and plant face first into the turf.
0 min: TV replays show that Ferdinand and Welbeck also declined to shake Suarez's hand. He also went for a high five with Glen Johnson and missed that too.
0 min: Patrice Evra is United's skipper today and he leads the players out on to the pitch. And yes there's an incident as the players go to shake hands. Evra grabs Suarez as the Uruguayan doesn't even offer a handshake.