Manchester United won a typically competitive clash with old foes Liverpool, courtesy of a goal in each half from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic.
Van Persie's opener arrived in the 19th minute - a fitting minute, some United fans might say - and Vidic claimed the second goal after deflecting Patrice Evra's header home. But Daniel Sturridge soon pulled one back and there were some anxious moments before the end of a tense affair.
Old Trafford's first match of 2013 got off to a quiet start on the pitch despite the wall of noise being generated from the stands. Both teams appeared a little nervous and struggled to make an impact but the Reds gradually began to ask questions of the visiting defence.
Van Persie had a shot strangled at source by a Steven Gerrard block from a Danny Welbeck lay-off but the Holland international made no mistake when presented with the first real chance nine minutes later. A nice move led to Tom Cleverley switching the ball wide to Evra. The full-back disguised his cross, drilling it straight to van Persie, who swept in the sweetest of finishes.
As his name rang around Old Trafford, it was more evidence that the former Arsenal attacker is the man for the big occasion and it took a sliding challenge from Gerrard to prevent him from going through on goal again after the 'Pool captain initially lost the ball.
Van Persie steered Ashley Young's delicate through ball over the top following an impressive burst forward by Cleverley but Young took a heavy knock soon afterwards following a tangle with Daniel Agger. Then a sloppy pass by Joe Allen allowed Welbeck a great opportunity, but the