An inexperienced United academy line-up were well beaten by title-chasing Liverpool as Paul McGuinness blooded more of the youngsters who could form part of next season's Under-18 team.
Captain Michele Fornasier (pictured) was the only starter who was in the XI for the memorable 3-2 win at Anfield last month and it was always going to be an uphill task against the powerful Merseysiders.
Yet United started well with James Wilson flashing wide before having a cross blocked by Matthew McGiveron following some lovely work from Tom Lawrence. Joe Coll knew he was in for a busy 90 minutes and he made a stunning one-handed save to deny Adam Morgan when Raheem Sterling skipped past Jack Rudge.
Surprisingly, and to United's credit, it took 40 minutes for the opening goal to arrive as Krisztian Adorjan's cross was controlled with the suspicion of an arm by Toni Silva and he showed great composure before applying a slide-rule finish past Coll.
Lawrence's piledriver was parried wide by Jamie Stephens and Sean McGinty hit the side-netting with a header when a Lawrence corner was missed by Stephens as United battled back bravely. But the Reds were undone in first-half stoppage time when Silva ran past two tackles and smashed past Coll for his second of the game.
The second half was one-way traffic with Coll being forced to make a number of saves and getting some help from the bar on one occasion. With two of the senior players going off just past the hour mark, Fornasier and McGinty, the floodgates opened despite Tom Thorpe entering the fray to take over as skipper.
After Joe Rothwell screwed one effort off target, the prolific Morgan netted for the 13th game in succession by getting past Louis Rowley to prod in a Brad Smith cross at the far post. Losing the