while Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra used their experience to good effect for long periods.
The opposition The hosts were buoyed by their early breakthrough and charged about with plenty of early endeavour. Though United picked up the majority of the bookings, it was Liverpool’s snapping and snarling which stood out, and only when the Reds matched them on that front did they begin to boss matters.
Move of the match Saved until the 87th minute, when substitutes Valencia, Nani and Chicharito did brilliantly on the right flank to release van Persie, only for the striker to uncharacteristically fire wide of the near post.
In the stands The match was preceded by a minute’s applause for former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly in celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday, and the home support’s mood remained boisterous after Sturridge’s early goal. Simmering tensions on the field also helped stoke the atmosphere before the break, but Anfield took on a nervous air for much of the second period as United dominated possession.