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Result: Anthony Martial helps Man United to victory over Liverpool

Manchester United see off Liverpool 3-1 at Old Trafford to earn a first win in three in the Premier League.

Manchester United have returned to winning ways in the Premier League by beating Liverpool 3-1 at Old Trafford this evening.

A first victory in three for the Red Devils lifts them up to second place on goal difference, while their underwhelming arch-rivals are now down in ninth.

United found themselves two goals to the good with just six minutes left to play, but Christian Benteke's late strike added an extra dimension to things.

A debut goal from youngster Anthony Martial wrapped up the points, however, and provided home supporters with their standout moment of the season to date.

Man Utd players celebrate after Daley Blind gets the breakthrough against Liverpool on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

The best opportunity of a lacklustre first half fell the home side's way, and it came about following some shaky goalkeeping from Reds stopper Simon Mignolet.

Just seven minutes were on the clock when the Belgian threw the ball straight at Juan Mata on the edge of the box, with Marouane Fellaini - fielded as United's most advanced player this evening in the absence of Wayne Rooney - lofting his attempt over the bar.

It was the Red Devils who found their groove the quickest, but Fellaini was unable to turn and hit the ball when picked out by a marauding Matteo Darmian down the right in the next attacking move.

Liverpool, who have avoided defeat on just one of their last nine visits to the Theatre of Dreams, did show signs of growing into the game when Nathaniel Clyne sliced wide from range 20 minutes in.

As the first half wore on, Louis van Gaal's charges continued to dominate possession, without truly troubling their opponents in an attacking sense.

Liverpool's Danny Ings and Man Utd's Ander Herrera in action on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

Benteke, now with goals in each of his last three games against United, did find himself in behind the hosts' defence only for the offside flag to be raised, as the uninspiring opening 45 minutes continued.

The first half eventually came to a close with neither keeper having a single save to make, as the returning David de Gea watched on as a mere spectator in goals.

Things certainly improved following the interval, however, with the inclusion of Ashley Young for the home side in particular adding some real pace to their attack.

Four minutes after the restart, Van Gaal's charges were ahead following a well-worked set-piece move that caught Liverpool off guard.

Clyne blocked off Young's path, earning himself a rather harsh booking in the process, but the bigger punishment was still to come when Blind latched on to the free kick completely unmarked and fired into the top corner from range.

Ander Herrera scores Man Utd's second against Liverpool from the penalty spot on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

Credit for the pass went Mata's way, ensuring that he had played a part in each of his side's last three goals up to that point.

Buoyed by that one real moment of quality, United went in search of a quick-fire second which Bastian Schweinsteiger could not quite add when picked out at the back post.

Liverpool were still very much in the game, though, creating a couple of chances of their own which ultimately came to nothing thanks to some frantic United defending.

Benteke was almost in behind for a second time - this time legitimately - but Darmian was able to use his pace to cut out Joe Gomez's smart through-ball just in time.

Still Brendan Rodgers' men pushed for a leveller, and they so nearly found one as Martin Skrtel's header was heading for the back of the net, only for Blind to become a hero up the other end when clearing off the line.

David de Gea celebrates Man Utd scoring against Liverpool on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

Roberto Firmino was himself unable to bundle the ball over the line, but the contest was now finally well alive following a stale first half.

There was a big moment 25 minutes from time when new boy Martial - the world's most expensive teenager - was brought on for his debut, and perhaps lifted by that United pushed on and earned a penalty just moments later.

Gomez was at fault on this occasion, lunging in on Ander Herrera with the Spaniard going nowhere fast, and the midfielder brushed himself off to smash the penalty home.

Christian Benteke scores with an overhead kick for Liverpool against Man Utd on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

Benteke squandered a half-decent chance to pull the visitors back in it, but the summer signing soon made his impact felt when scoring a true Premier League classic.

Substitute Jordon Ibe had just forced De Gea into a fine save, and from the resulting corner the danger was never cleared; Benteke pulling off a stunning acrobatic volley into the top corner once the ball had come back into the box to make it 2-1.

Anthony Martial celebrates scoring on his Man Utd debut against Liverpool on September 12, 2015© Getty Images

The game's defining moment was incredibly still to come, however, as debutant Martial made himself an instant hero by scoring with his first shot as a United player, cutting inside Skrtel and tucking the ball home to spark scenes of joy around Old Trafford.

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Liverpool's Roberto Firmino and Man Utd's Memphis Depay tussle on September 12, 2015
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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

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