Having shown tremendous resolve to fight back for a draw against Everton in their last outing, the Reds were again in determined mood against their Lancashire rivals - and they had to be.
Paul McGuinness' side found themselves behind again in the early stages, as Francis Zenaba powerfully headed home a corner inside the first 10 minutes.
The Reds roared back, however, and drew level through Brandao after 25 minutes. The Portuguese striker raced through on goal and, although his first effort was blocked, he calmly slotted the rebound into the top corner.
United needed just 12 more minutes to totally turn the scoreline on its head. Although Oliver Norwood saw his penalty saved by Andreas Arestidou, the midfielder was on hand to convert the rebound and make the points safe.
United: Amos; McCormack, Strickland, Gill, Dudgeon; C Evans, Curran (Eikrem 63), Norwood, Galbraith; Brandao (Macheda 46), Bryan (Stewart 46).
Sub not used: Moffatt.