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Result: Manchester United see off Liverpool

Goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic see league leaders Manchester United defeat rivals Liverpool 2-1.

A fortuitous goal from captain Nemanja Vidic helped Manchester United record a 2-1 victory over rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford this afternoon.

The deadlock was broken in the 19th minute with what was the first shot on target of note. The home team managed to work the ball wide on the left to Patrice Evra, who in turn drilled in a cross for Robin van Persie to beat Pepe Reina with an instant low shot from 10 yards out.

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie celebrates with teammates during his sides match against Liverpool on 13 January, 2013© PA Photos

Seven minutes later Van Persie had another chance to add to his tally, but he fired over the bar following a through-ball from Ashley Young.

Van Persie's strike partner Danny Welbeck then had a couple of chances, but his first shot was blocked by a sliding Daniel Agger, while his second effort from a narrow angle failed to work Reina.

As the half drew to a close Tom Cleverley saw his volleyed effort from the edge of the area flash just wide of the target. Then in stoppage time Martin Skrtel retreated to clear Van Persie's flick off the line.

Visiting Liverpool introduced new signing Daniel Sturridge into the action during the break and the England international's arrival resulted in the Merseysiders having a greater attacking threat.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers before his sides match against Manchester United on January 13, 2013© PA Photos

However, nine minutes after the restart United's advantage was doubled. Van Persie sent over a free kick to the back post for Evra, whose downward header bounced into the net via a deflection off his teammate Vidic.

Just three minutes later though Liverpool halved the deficit. A pass from Cleverley inside the United half was intercepted and Raheem Sterling in turn found Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper's shot from 18 yards out was parried by David de Gea but substitute Sturridge was on hand to tap in the rebound from close range.

United responded positively and with 63 minutes gone Reina was forced to dive full stretch to his left in order to tip behind a curling effort by Shinji Kagawa.

Following that save, Liverpool then started to dominate the contest as they went in search of an equaliser.

Manchester United defender Patrice Evra celebrates scoring his teams second goal against Liverpool on 13 January, 2013© PA Photos

Italian replacement Fabio Borini, who had spent the last four months on the sidelines with a broken foot, sent a half-volley wide from 25 yards out which had De Gea scampering across his line.

Their best chance fell to Sturridge with six minutes on the clock. The hosts failed to clear their lines and the ball eventually dropped to the former Chelsea striker to the left of the target, but he only succeeded in sending the ball well over the bar.

It proved to be Liverpool's final clear opportunity as United held out to claim all three points, extending their lead at the top to 10 points in the process.

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United striker Robin Van Persie celebrates his opener against Sunderland on December 15, 2012
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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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