Full-time - 90'
3 - 1
13:30 +00:00, March 6, 2011
Referee: Philip Dowd
FULL TIME A great afternoon for Liverpool and another wretched one for United. A simple hat-trick for Kuyt, a spot of handbags in the middle, and a late consolation for Hernandez. United suffer back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time in two years and the title race is officially ON.
Slack marking from Liverpool but a neat header from Hernandez.
GOAL Hernandez nods in Giggs' cross but surely it is too late.
Three minutes added....
Gerrard is inchies away from making it four. He was on his own on the edge of the box and the free kick came his way. He side footed it into the side netting with Van der Sar scrambling.
Suarez limps off and Joe Cole comes on. Good game for Suarez.
O'Shea's driven cross is met by Carrick and he wins a corner.
Splendid run from Suarez who turns Evra, drives into the box past Brown but finishes wildly from an angle on his right foot.
Suarez is up and hobbling off, despite his arm waving, rolling around antics.
Suarez gets tackled hard by Brown and rolls around on the turf, then Gerrard fires a shot narrowly wide of the post with Van der Sar rooted.
Dirk Kuyt takes the plaudits after completing his hat-trick
Fletcher is on and Scholes is off.
A yellow card for Scholes.
Gerrard very nearly finds Carroll then Kuyt tees up Maxi but he can't connect with the cross from 14 yards.
United looking laboured now. Few chances appearing.
Carroll nods back to Kuyt who volleys on the edge of the box but he can't keep it down.
Liverpool fans sing Happy Birthday to Kenny. He waves in return.
Giggs' delivery is over everyone. Poor.
Rooney's free kick hits the wall but United rebuild and win another one wide right.
Rafael goes off and O'Shea comes on.
Good advantage played by Phil Dowd as Rooney is clipped. He lets the play go on until Hernandez's cross is cleared then gives the foul.
Carroll wins his first challenge in the air and nods on goal to much acclaim from the Kop.
Meireles comes off after an excellent game and Carroll is on.
Carroll is indeed coming on. Great time for your debut.
Carroll gets a round of applause as he warms up on the touchline. Looks like he may be coming on.
Good ball in from Carrick but Hernandez tried to go with a high boot rather than his head.
What a day for Kenny. He can do no wrong in the eyes of Liverpool's fans.
Kenny Dalglish shows his delight on the touchline
Liverpool fans in dreamland here. United fans watching their title advantage disappear.
Kuyt's total yardage for his three goals must be less than eight. Suarez into the box again and denied by Smalling.
This time Van der Sar at fault you could say. Suarez hits a low effort towards the near post, Van der Sar parries and Kuyt is alone to tap it in from a yard.
GOAL Kuyt hat-trick!
Kuyt does well to buy a free kick off Wes Brown. 25 yards out, to the right of centre.
Terrible from Rooney who makes space for a cross, then hoofs it out of play.
Nani leaves the field on a stretcher
Meireles breaks the offside trap and is fed by Kuyt but the angle is against him and Van der Sar saves before Evra mops up two yards from goal.
Giggs' effort is woeful. Well over the bar.
Now Berbatov wins a free kick right on the edge of the box as he backed into Skrtel. A replay shows Meireles was well in front of the line for the previous Berbatov header. Good defending.
More controversy as Berbatov heads against Meireles on the line and claims the goal but nothing doing from the linesman.
Dirk Kuyt heads home to put Liverpool into a 2-0 lead
A decent looking move from United as Berbatov gets wide right and crosses, Giggs dummies and Rooney tries to search out the far corner but Krygiakos blocks well.
Liverpool happy to sit deep and soak up pressure now.
Nani complains to referee Phil Dowd about the tackle that saw him stretchered off moments later
Superb ball from Rooney across the edge of the box for Giggs and his first time volley flashes over the bar at speed.
Kuyt tracks back and pinches the ball off Evra but concedes a free kick for a trip. A spell of United pressure now.
Dirk Kuyt taps home the opening goal
Suarez tries a one-two with Meireles but return ball is poor.
Rooney fires a through ball at Hernandez, way too hard for him to control.
Then Hernandez squanders a good chance to halve the arrears as he gallops onto Baerbatov's cross but can't convert it on the slide from nine yards out.
Great vision from Suarez again to bring down a bouncing ball, feed Meireles and he nearly tees up Gerrard but Van der Sar gets there first.
Maxi feeds Gerrard who has a pop but Smalling gets a block in.
Dirk Kuyt celebrates his opener with Luis Suarez
Rooney has gone wide left and Berbatov and Hernandez are up top.
We begin again. Hopefully everyone has calmed down a little during the break.
Luis Suarez takes on Paul Scholes
HALF TIME Finally, after 50 minutes, the whistle goes. The game burst into life after half an hour as Liverpool scored two in quick succession, then it all got a bit silly. Carragher is lucky to still be on, as is Rafael. Should be a tasty second half.
Nani won't be coming back and Hernandez has come on.
It's all kicking off again now after Rafael charges two-footed into a tackle, then Skrtel intervenes and everybody gets involved again. Dowd just stands and watches. Both gets yellows.
Nani is leaving on a stretcher now but don't rule him out for the second half.
Carragher's tackle was a shocker, no doubt. He caught Nani twice, once on the knee and once on the ankle. But for him to then hobble in front of the referee in an attempt to make things worse for Carragher is just not on. A touch of the Ronaldo's about that.
Van der Sar is carded too for getting involved a good 60 yards from his goal. Quite rightly. Nowt to do with him.
What is going on here. A melee in front of the ref after Carragher goes into a late tackle on Nani, then Nani claims he's been trod on by running in front of the ref then collapsing. Looks like he's crying now. Pathetic. A deserved yellow for Carragher though.
Meireles slips when well placed on the right. Vital for Liverpool they hold on to their two-goal lead until half time.
Gerrard takes the ball forward but shows he and Suarez aren't quite on the right wavelength yet as the midfielder passes one way and the striker runs the other.
Rafael spins in a cross but no white shirt is near it. United just shrank after the opening goal.
An awful mistake from Nani as he nods a ball towards his own goal instead of away and Kuyt heads home from six yards out. Two gifts for Kuyt.
GOAL Kuyt grabs his second!
Carrick falls over the ball and Lucas picks it up but he can't weave a way past Smalling. Great spell for Liverpool here.
Suarez shields the ball from Smalling and wins a corner.
United are rocking here as Johnson feeds Maxi inside the box but Van der Sar comes out to block his cross.
Suarez twists and turns in the box beating three men, then squirts it across the goalline and Kuyt smashes it in from about three inches out.
GOAL What a touch of genius from Suarez and Kuyt scores!
Gerrard's effort is a dribbler but takes a flick of a white shirt and results in a corner.
Scholes sticks a boot into Lucas and Liverpool have a free kick on the edge of the box.
Well worked in the corner flag between Carragher and Meireles. It yields a corner.
First sign of the red mist from Suarez after he doesn't get a free kick in the corner and hurls abuse at the linesman. Dowd has a word but no card. Then Evra gets stuck into the crowd for not giving the ball back.
A neat looking move from United as Giggs finds Rooney who lays it in to Berabtov. He's flagged offside, but he looked level. Blazed it over anyway.
Immaculate control from Berbatov as he plucks a ball out of the air but then he strays offside when Scholes returned the ball.
Johnson moves over to left back, Carragher goes to right back and Krygiakos slots in alongside Skrtel.
Paul Scholes and Fabio Aurelio battle for possession
Berabtov attacked the corner and it trickled towards the near post where Meireles hoofed the ball clear.
Aurelio off and Krygiakos on.
Aurelio is down injured. Carragher was yelling at him to hit the turf before the corner came in. Looks like Krygiakos will have to come on.
Evra wins a corner off Johnson.
Promising signs from Suarez though. He looks as if he struggles with the pace of the game occasionally, but that will come with time.
Neat feet from Suarez but a rather aimless cross.
Giggs surges past Gerrard and crosses but Skrtel heads clear.
A good chance for Liverpool now as Suarez floats a ball into the area, Meireles heads towards the far post and Kuyt is inches away from applying the finish.
Berbatov hits the post! An instinctive strike as it fell to him, Reina is beaten but the ball hasn't got enough swerve to drop inside the post.
Kuyt wins a corner but Meireles and Suarez are disappointed he didn't centre the ball earlier.
A half chance for Kuyt inside the box but Smalling nicks it off him this time.
Gerrard's superb ball finds Johnson but Evra stands up well and comes away with the ball.
Aurelio chases a Maxi through ball but Van der Sar is sitting on the edge of his box and races out to hack clear.
Skrtel makes a bit of a mess of a Carrick pass for Giggs but the winger misses his kick when presented with a chance to volley at goal.
Carragher does well to nick the ball from Berbatov but Reina's kick is right at Carrick.
Evra collects Berbatov's ball and goes down on the edge of the box. He was off balance which didn't help his claims for a free kick.
Lucas finds Suarez and with the ball bouncing nicely 35 yards out he smashes one goalwards but it sails high and wide.
Van der Sar is less than convincing when he has to execute a left foot volley out to Giggs but the Welshman tidies up.
A first attack for United but Nani overruns the ball.
Now Maxi gets the ball inside the right channel in acres of space but he drags his right footed shot well wide.
Now Gerrard sings in a ball that Brown has to clear. All Liverpool at the minute.
First chance for Liverpool as Meireles has a pop from the right and Suarez meets it 14 yards out but can only dribble it to Van der Sar. He should have done better.
Here come the teams. Down the tunnel, out into the bright sunshine and we're all set for a humdinger...
Don't forget, United are chasing their 19th top flight title this season. Liverpool have 18. As Fergie famously said he wanted to reach the magic 19 and knock Liverpool off their 'expletive' perch. He's close.
So, the two old foes go head-to-head again. Fergie and Kenny go back a long way, so long they could probably have their own sitcom. Dalglish would love nothing more than to throw a spanner into United's title quest.
The two other United changes from the midweek defeat at Chelsea see Dimitar Berbatov, scorer of a match-winning hat-trick against Liverpool in the league encounter at Old Trafford, and Rafael come in.
With Rio Ferdinand injured and Nemanja Vidic suspended, Wes Brown makes only his third Premier League start of the season alongside Chris Smalling.
For United, Ryan Giggs returns to the visitors' line-up, thereby breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's club record of 606 league appearances.
The two changes to the Reds? first-team from last Sunday's defeat at West Ham saw defender Fabio Aurelio replace the injured Martin Kelly, with Glen Johnson switching to his usual right side, and Maxi Rodriguez come in for Danny Wilson.
Two big pieces of team news for Liverpool: Andy Carroll could make his debut after being named on the bench, while Steven Gerrard starts despite aggravating his groin injury in training.
For now, you can read up on some of the best North-West derbies in history in this week's First XI.
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