|1||Van der Sar|
Nani gave the Reds a dream start, firing home the opening goal inside three minutes, but by the interval the hosts had made their set-piece prowess tell, as headers from George Elokobi and Kevin Doyle turned the scoreline on its head.
A disjointed display from the Reds rarely looked like yielding an equaliser, as Mick McCarthy's dogged side defended stoutly, tore into challenges and ran the clock down as if their very survival hinged on it.
United's pre-match preparations were dealt an untimely blow when Rio Ferdinand suffered an injury in the warm-up. His place was taken by named substitute Jonny Evans, while Chris Smalling took his berth on the bench.
Nevertheless, the Reds might have taken to the field with an added spring in their step, after learning of Arsenal's dramatic collapse at Newcastle. By the same token, Wigan's win over Blackburn further entrenched Wolves in the relegation mire.
Perhaps mindful of their plight, the hosts went at United from the off, and heavy pressure culminated in Nenad Milijas blasting over Edwin van der Sar's bar inside the first minute. On a day in which the Premier League was saturated with goals, it was perhaps unsurprising that the deadlock was soon broken.
Darren Fletcher fed Nani with a raking pass, and the Portuguese winger teased Elokobi on the right-hand side of the area, feinting to cross before