United are on the brink of a first Barclays Premier Reserve League title in four seasons, after Gabriel Obertan's scorching drive overcame Liverpool.
The Frenchman arrowed home an unstoppable 25-yard drive on the cusp of half-time in a tense, top-of-the-table clash at Moss Lane, the result of which leaves United nine points clear of the Merseysiders, who have two games in hand. Four points from games against Burnley and Wigan will guarantee the title for United.
In a customarily tight encounter between the sides, livewire winger Obertan provided the one moment of outstanding quality, and was the liveliest threat on show in a match dominated by two sturdy defences.
It took half an hour for the first attack of note, and only breathtaking defending from Liverpool's Victor Palsson kept the scoresheet blank. Obertan's surge to the byline and cross caused havoc in the away area, in which Febian Brandy spun and shot goalwards, only for Palsson to somehow keep the ball from crossing the line with an heroic lunge.
Soon afterwards, Brandy's speculative lob into the danger zone forced back-pedalling goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi to tip over his crossbar, before Francisco Duran's