15 January 2005, Anfield
MANCHESTER UNITED 1
Liverpool: Dudek, Carragher, Pellegrino, Hyypia, Traore, Gerrard, Hamann (Biscan 79), Garcia, Riise (Sinama-Pongolle 72), Baros, Morientes (Nunez 75).
United: Carroll, Neville P, Silvestre, Brown, Heinze, Ronaldo (O’Shea 67), Fletcher, Keane, Scholes, Rooney (Bellion 90), Saha (Fortune 79).
United and Liverpool had different objectives when they met in January 2005.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side knew nothing less than three points would do, as they struggled to keep up with the pace set by Chelsea at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez's men were locked in a battle with Everton for a Champions League spot.
It was fitting then that former Everton player Wayne Rooney, on his return to Merseyside, should be the one to silence the home fans. The 19 year-old cemented his reputation as a young man for the big occasion by scoring the only goal.
The opening minutes of the game were typical of any Manchester-Merseyside derby, with tackles flying in and players attempting to stamp their authority on the game. Rooney’s opportunity came midway through the first half as he collected a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, turned infield and let fly with a shot that went under the body of Jerzy Dudek.
The action continued at a frantic pace in the second half but despite having Wes Brown sent off, United held on to keep a seventh successive clean sheet and claim the win.