United's Under-18s slipped to a rare league defeat on Monday afternoon when Liverpool gained a modicum of revenge for last month's thrilling FA Youth Cup.
Paul McGuinness' boys won 3-2 at Anfield of course and consequently have a semi-final to look forward to against Chelsea, with the first leg at Stamford Bridge this Sunday. That will surely soften the blow of this loss, effectively inflicted in the first half when all the goals were scored at cold, wet and windy Carrington.
Adam Morgan - the young man who put Liverpool 2-0 up in the cup tie - also opened the scoring in this league meeting, taking his 23rd-minute goal well from Krisztian Adorjan's through-ball.
The young United side responded well to this setback and after recent debutant Jack Rudge went close with a shot from the edge of the area, Tom Lawrence teed himself up for a high-quality equaliser. Flicking the ball past a defender, he then rolled his finish under Liverpool goalkeeper Jamie Stephens. All square again after 32 minutes.
Lawrence was almost able to double his and United's tally when Paul Pogba played him in but this time Stephens was equal to the task and made a good block after coming off his line.
With United's best chance of going in front gone, the visitors finished the first period strongly and took the lead decisively when Liverpool's Michael Ngoo challenged the home rearguard following an Adam Hadju free-kick and the unfortunate Reds defender Alberto Massacci put through his own goal.
Massacci tried to make amends shortly into the second half with a good shot at the right end going just wide but apart from that, and a Chani Ekangamene volley brilliantly saved by Stephens, chances were at a premium for United. William Keane was introduced at the break - replacing the Brazilian loanee Rafael Leao, just as he did in last week's win over Sunderland - but there was to be no strike from him this time.
The closest Keane came to finding the scoresheet was when he curled just wide after a Pogba pass