Full-time - 90'
2 - 1
12:45 +00:00, February 11, 2012
Old Trafford, England
Referee: Philip Dowd
Patrice Evra celebrates wildly after a game which was always going to be overshadowed by what had come before.
FULL TIME: Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool Wayne Rooney's brace early in the second half is enough for United to go top of the table, with Liverpool unable to capitalise on Luis Suarez's goal.
Wayne Rooney wins a free kick in the corner flag and that should be that...
Luis Suarez heads over from inside the six-yard box. Luckily, the flag was up for offside and his blushes are spared.
United deal with the corner well and Valencia hoofs clear.
The free kick is headed clear, but Glen Johnson rifles a shot in from 25 yards which De Gea tips over.
Liverpool free kick on the left...
THREE MINUTES ADDED TIME
Into the closing minutes and Liverpool are in a hurry. They're struggling to create opportunities.
Suarez looks to feed Johnson on the right wing, but his pass is massively over hit. Johnson does well to make a fight of it, but it's a United throw-in.
Carroll with a flick-on for Suarez, but he is adjudged to be offside. A very close call.
Liverpool with a fresh injection of energy, as you'd expect. Can United see out the last five minutes?
Carroll involved again, this time over-hitting a pass to Enrique and conceding a throw-in.
Very poor from Ferdinand for Liverpool's goal. The defender was slightly unsighted, but he should have hooked the cross clear. Suarez hits a volley from the edge of the box, but it ricochets off Carroll and goes wide.
Welbeck straight down the other end for United, he raced into the box and blazed his left-footed shot high and wide.
GOAL Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool. Guess who? Luis Suarez with a lifeline for Liverpool! Enrique's free-kick reaches Ferdinand, who fails to clear and gifts Suarez with a tap-in. Game on.
Carrick the second name in the book.
Liverpool free kick, Suarez fouled by Carrick.
Ferguson could look to rest one of his veteran centre-midfielders. Perhaps give Tom Cleverley some time on the pitch?
Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez struggling to connect. Carroll running away from Suarez's neat lay off.
Charlie Adam on for Dirk Kuyt
Welbeck almost makes it three. Patient build up from United, Rooney and Valencia involved before Giggs' cross reaches Welbeck. His scuffed effort is gathered by the stretching Reina.
Enrique with the latest poor delivery for Liverpool. A comeback looks beyond them.
United break but Giggs' low cross is blocked by Johnson. There could be a third for the home team on the break.
Suarez punished for a high foot on Evans. Free kick to United in their own half.
Another Liverpool attack falters and Carrick is able to stroke the ball clear for Valencia to come forward again. Far too easy for Alex Ferguson's men.
Liverpool are seeing plenty of the ball but causing United no trouble at all.
Gerrard trips Rooney near the half-way line and it's a free kick.
Suarez gets to the byline and tries to find Carroll, but Evans heads away. Not going right for Liverpool.
United are well and truly in control at the moment. Liverpool need a goal soon if they're going to save this one.
Liverpool have immediately starting going direct to Carroll, they have to now.
Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy on for Jay Spearing and Stewart Downing
Wayne Rooney should have had his hat-trick! He skipped a challenge on the edge of the box before poking a poor effort wide. Will United live to regret that?
Ryan Giggs with space on the left, he breaks forward before hitting an awful cross into the Stretford End.
Rooney smacks a screamer into the top corner... A shame the whistle had gone. Evans with a foul.
Almost a chance for United, Rooney ghosting into the box before under-hitting a lay off to Welbeck. Liverpool standing off United at the moment.
Enrique's cross is cut out and United clear.
Free kick to Liverpool 30 yards from goal, Carrick tripping Suarez.
Valencia thinks he is beyond Enrique, but he fouled the Spaniard.
Liverpool maintaining possession and trying to settle themselves.
Steven Gerrard summing up Liverpool's start to the second half, his through-ball woefully hit and drifting through to De Gea.
Liverpool have had a nightmare start to second-half. Surely the defensive approach has to be abandoned now?
GOAL Man Utd 2-0 Liverpool. Rooney again!!! Excellent play from Valencia, dispossessing a sleeping Spearing. He slips in Rooney, who puts his shot between Reina's legs from the penalty spot.
What have Liverpool got in reply? Kenny Dalglish's half-time team talk straight out of the window.
GOAL Man Utd 1-0 Liverpool. Rooney with the opener!!! The corner provides the breakthrough. Steven Gerrard with the inadvertent flick-on and Rooney smashes a volley home from close range. Not a bad way to mark his 350th United appearance.
An early corner for United, Enrique turning the ball behind...
SECOND HALF United with the restart.
Liverpool need to show more attacking flare in the second half. Suarez is too isolated and Kuyt and Downing have offered very little.
Liverpool have Andy Carroll and, perhaps more importantly, Craig Bellamy in reserve.
Both teams have options on the bench. United can call on the returning Cleverley, Javier Hernandez or Dimitar Berbatov.
A full-blown tunnel brawl between the two teams by all accounts. Police intervening as both sets of players struggle to control their emotions.
A first-half dominated by what preceded it, with Suarez's snubbing of Evra. Scholes had the best chance of the opening period, heading straight at Reina from six yards. The best is yet to come, surely?
HALF TIME Luis Suarez is struggling to keep his composure. Still goalless at the break, but it's starting to bubble up.
Suarez with a burst for Liverpool skipping beyond Evra and trying to nip beyond Ferdinand, who does wonderfully to put in a last-ditch tackle. Suarez is enraged at the referee's decision not to award a foul.
Downing into the book for a cynical trip on the breaking Rafael.
Spaghetti legs from Danny Welbeck, who seemed to get dazzled by his own fancy footwork. A series of decreasingly controlled step-overs result in a throw-in.
Skrtel again, his half-volley deflected over by Ferdinand but the referee fails to give a corner.
The deep corner from Gerrard is headed back in by Skrtel, Rafael clears but Ferdinand is forced to concede another corner...
Liverpool corner, a chance to apply some pressure...
Rio Ferdinand recovers excellently after a positive surge from Suarez. Kuyt trying to nip in, but the centre-half blocks him off.
Rooney with the chance to break for United, who have a three-on-three situation. He dithers, and Liverpool recover. A chance wasted for the home side.
The last 10 minutes have been far better from United, Liverpool struggling a little.
Welbeck, who has looked lively, evades several challenges when on the edge of the box. He chooses to cross rather than shoot and it's too far in front of Rooney.
Suarez with a fantastic pass out to Kuyt, who mis-controls. Eventually he crosses, but Evans heads clear.
Patrice Evra trying to get on the scoresheet! Giggs passing to Valencia and his deep cross is met by Evra's head. The header is far too high and sails over the bar.
Liverpool try to respond, Dirk Kuyt fouling Carrick as he attempts to latch onto a right-wing cross.
United create another chance, Giggs slipping in Welbeck. His cross looks for Rooney and Agger hooks clear. The game is coming to life!
The first big chance of the game and it fell to Scholes! Stellar passing from United, Scholes clipping a sumptuous pass to Giggs, whose cross finds his veteran colleague. On the edge of the six-yard box, Scholes guides his header straight at Reina.
Neat play from Liverpool almost gifts them an opening. Gerard feeds Suarez, who tries to tee up Henderson. The former Sunderland man is just ahead of the ball and the danger passes.
Henderson looks to be in behind the United defence, but the flag is raised.
Rooney with his first attempt of the game, drilling a low shot wide of the post frmo outside the area after being set up by Giggs.
Rafael is down after a clash with Gerard. The Brazilian seemed to get a palm in the face, it looked accidental though.
A slightly subdued atmosphere inside Old Trafford, both sets of fans waiting for something to get excited about. He was the subject of all the talk pre-match, but Suarez has barely been involved.
Still waiting for the first real moment of quality in this game. A bit pedestrian at present.
Suarez gets to the touchline and is faced by Rio Ferdinand. He tries one trick too many and runs the ball out of play.
Rafael does well to engineer some space in the Liverpool box for a shot on his weaker left foot. Reina does well to save with Welbeck blocking his line of sight.
Valencia enjoying some success for United, his run insides breaks for Welbeck who feeds the Ecuadorian once more, but his cross is blocked by Enrique.
Rooney trying to get United going by laying the ball to Giggs, who slips his pass behind Carrick on the edge of the Liverpool box.
Enrique's lofted delivery is cleared by United, Spearing attempted to keep the attack alive but Scholes handled the danger.
Suarez then fouled in a similar way by Evans, only this time in the United half.
Valencia drifting off the wing and driving past Henderson, who tugs him down just inside the Liverpool half.
The game yet to settle down, both teams struggling to maintain possession.
Johnson cuts in just like he did in the opening stages, this time he gets into the box and is allowed to curl a shot at goal. Luckily for United, it bounces just wide of the post.
Jose Enrique looking uncharacteristically shaky early on. Can United capitalise?
Enrique again beaten, this time by Rafael. A free kick should have been given, Enrique lucky to avoid a card.
Giggs' corner reaches Rooney, who tries to get power into his free header from six-yards out. Reina is able to save easily.
Corner after Johnson heads Giggs' dangerous cross away.
Free kick to United right on the edge of the penalty area, Jose Enrique tugging down Valencia.
United's first attack. Great play from Danny Welbeck, running through a static Liverpool backline before teeing up Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian's clipped cross is just about dealt with by Pepe Reina with Wayne Rooney waiting.
From the resulting throw-in Glen Johnson cuts inside and fires a low shot at De Gea's nearpost. The Spanish goalkeeper gathers comfortably.
Evra races across to put in a hefty challenge on Suarez from kick off, but only succeeds in clattering Rio Ferdinand. This could get a bit messy. Ferdinand is still down.
KICK OFF We're under way...
Big controversy before kick-off! Luis Suarez rejects Patrice Evra's offer of a pre-match handshake. If the pot needed stirring...
Both teams are out, kick-off is moments away...
United can top with a win today, with Manchester City not playing until tomorrow. Can Wayne Rooney continue the form which saw him boss the second half against Chelsea? How will Patrice Evra handle his reunion with Suarez?
With plenty at stake for both teams today, hopefully it will be a more entertaining affair than the recent FA Cup tie. Liverpool won that 2-1, a similar result today would put them firmly back in the hunt for fourth.
Expect plenty of boos when Suarez gets on the ball, the Uruguayan starts for Liverpool. Andy Carroll makes way. Craig Bellamy is replaced by Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson is preferred to Charlie Adam. Jose Enrique returns, with Martin Kelly on the bench.
It's safe to say United have gone for experience in the centre of midfield. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs start together for the first time since last season's 3-1 defeat at Anfield. Tom Cleverley is on the bench.
Amid all the off-field distractions and the Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra row, there is a danger an entertaining football match might break out as Liverpool travel to Old Trafford. Big team news on the way...