A fair chunk of Manchester United's victories this season have come on the back of dodgy displays, but Sunday's emphatic 3-0 win over Liverpool was one of the Reds' more impressive performances the season so far. Goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie ensured United reversed the embarrassing defeat Liverpool inflicted upon them at Old Trafford last season.
The opening few minutes of the game were United's shakiest, as Liverpool pressed high up the field and forced mistakes at the back. They created the first opening of the game when Adam Lallana slotted the ball through for Raheem Sterling, though David de Gea made a good save at the near post. Within a couple of minutes, Antonio Valencia had beaten a couple of players down the right and pulled the ball back for Wayne Rooney, whose low shot put United in front.
After the goal United were much improved, with Liverpool seeing considerably less of the ball. They offered United only one other scare before the break, when Sterling was again denied by De Gea at the near post. Five minutes before halftime, United doubled their lead, when a cross from Ashley Young was flicked on by Robin van Persie and into the path of (an admittedly offside) Juan Mata, who dived to head the Reds two goals clear.
Liverpool looked more dangerous once the second half started, and initially put United under some sustained pressure. Only a brilliant stop by de Gea prevented Sterling from capitalising on a calamitous Jonny Evans backpass, before the Spaniard tipped Mario Balotelli's lethal effort onto the crossbar.
However, for the most part, United looked pleasingly solid at the back, with Marouane Fellaini making amends for an unconvincing first half performance by showing some much-needed midfield muscle. United's back three were solid, with Phil Jones especially looking impressive considering he was thrust prematurely into the starting lineup with Marcos Rojo out injured.
Eventually United wrapped the game up on a swift counter-attack with just over 20 minutes left, which culminated in a sloppy Liverpool giveaway and van Persie stroking a Mata pass into an empty net for 3-0.