Match Analysis: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United

Sports Mole casts an eye over Liverpool's 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Anfield.

A strike from Daniel Sturridge in the fourth minute was enough for Liverpool to take all three points from their home encounter with rivals Manchester United this afternoon.

Visiting United saw much more of the ball during the second half, but they were unable to find a way beyond Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

Below, Sports Mole has looked back over the Premier League contest to determine if the away side can argue that they were worthy of a point at least.

Match statistics:

Liverpool:
Shots 10
On target 5
Possession 43%
Corners 2
Fouls 15

Man United:
Shots 10
On target 4
Possession 57%
Corners 7
Fouls 15

Was the result fair?

If you take into account their possession during the second half, United could perhaps argue that they should be heading back to Manchester with a share of the spoils for their efforts. But Liverpool were strong at the back throughout and converted the one clear chance they did create. A point was perhaps fair, but for their sheer organisation, few neutrals would begrudge the hosts the victory.

Liverpool's performance

The home side were by no means at their best and in the second half were arguably on the back foot. Having said that, they were resolute in defence and limited United to just one clear-cut chance, which they missed. In contrast, the Reds took their major opportunity. They were a little wasteful on the ball in the United half after the restart, which is something that may have disappointed manager Brendan Rodgers. However, he will be pleased with the fact that he will soon have Luis Suarez to add to his attacking options, as well as Victor Moses.

Man United's performance

This showing told one nothing that one does not already know about United - they need new midfielders, and quick. Yes, Liverpool should be credited for the way that they defended, but United lacked the necessary creativity in the middle of the pitch to break them down. They rallied in the second half and created a handful of chances, but the lack of spark in the engine room is bound to be a cause of concern to manager David Moyes.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Daniel Agger: In a game where defences were on top, Liverpool's in particular, this award is going to Agger. Along with Martin Skrtel, he did well up against Robin van Persie and also flicked the ball on to Sturridge for the winning goal.

Biggest gaffe

The angle may have been narrow for Van Persie, but with four minutes left, he really should have drawn United level. Javier Hernandez played him in, but with just Mignolet to beat, the Dutch striker shot a long way wide of the target.

Referee performance

Liverpool against Man United is always a fiery encounter and Marriner was bound to have been expecting a busy afternoon. He got that, but to be fair to him, he dealt with it well. There were a lot of bookings, but all were warranted.

What next?

Liverpool: Rodgers's former side Swansea City will be Liverpool's next opponents.

Man United: The champions will look to get back to winning ways when they play host to Crystal Palace after the international break.

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on September 01, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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