Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

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Marcus Rashford scored twice for Manchester United on his first league start since Boxing day.Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United held on to beat Liverpool and strengthen their grip on second place in the Premier League.The win meant Jose Mourinho's side narrowed the gap on runaway leaders Manchester City to 13 points - at least until City play at Stoke on Monday - but, more pertinently, they are now five points clear of the third-placed Merseysiders.Rashford, making his first league start since 26 December, will rightly grab the headlines but Romelu Lukaku was instrumental in both goals, and Liverpool simply could not deal with his physical power in the first half.
First, the Belgium striker's header from David de Gea's clearance found Rashford charging into the visitors' box, and he cut inside Trent Alexander-Arnold before firing into the bottom corner.For United's second goal, Lukaku held up the ball from another goal-kick before feeding Juan Mata and, although he could not get a shot away, the ball fell for Rashford to score via a slight deflection from Alexander-Arnold.At that stage Liverpool were second best in every area of the pitch and could have fallen further behind when Mata volleyed acrobatically wide from an Alexis Sanchez cross.Jurgen Klopp's side improved dramatically after the break and, with United defending deep, the visitors cranked up the pressure without ever really opening up their hosts.It took an own goal for the Reds to reduce the deficit when Eric Bailly turned Sadio Mane's cross past De Gea while attempting to clear at the near post.That gave Liverpool's travelling fans hope but their side could not fashion any further clear chances, even in six often chaotic minutes of stoppage time.United survived to clinch victory in the first of three games here in the next seven days that will shape their season.Next up are Sevilla on Tuesday, with a place in the last eight of the Champions League at stake, before they face Brighton in the FA Cup quarter-finals next Saturday.
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Rashford returns to run riot
The arrival of Sanchez from Arsenal in January has had ramifications for several United players, including Rashford, who had played fewer than 100 minutes as a substitute in 2018 before Saturday.Rashford has had to wait for his chance but, in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate, he did not waste it.With Paul Pogba injured, Sanchez moved inside to play in the hole behind Lukaku, with Rashford and Mata coming back into the team on the left and right.And while Sanchez again failed to impress, Rashford showed his lack of minutes has not affected his sharpness or his appetite in front of goal.The 20-year-old now has 12 goals in all competitions this season, making this his most prolific campaign yet.He had no opportunities to complete what would have been his first senior club hat-trick in the second half, but received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Marouane Fellaini after 77 minutes."His performance will give him a lot of confidence - his first goal was absolutely brilliant," said former England winger Chris Waddle, who was at Old Trafford for BBC Radio 5 live. "He also did a great job defensively, helping out his left-back Ashley Young in the second half, and he will be disappointed to go off when he did."
A reality check for Liverpool's defence
Jurgen Klopp's side had conceded only one goal in their previous five games but any suggestions that their problems at the back might be over quickly disappeared in a fractious first half.Lukaku bullied the Reds centre-halves Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk throughout the first period and the carnage that the big Belgian caused allowed his team-mates to capitalise.True, Liverpool were disjointed all over the pitch before the break, but they were especially disappointing at the back, which is where the damage was done.The Reds did improve in the second half when they at last managed some meaningful possession, but they struggled to break down a well-drilled United back-line.Bailly's own goal means Liverpool are now the highest-scoring away side in Europe's big five leagues, with 35 on their travels, but this was not one of their attack's better days.With space at a premium for Mane and Mohamed Salah, their forays forward lacked their usually lethal punch and, other than pick the ball out of the back of his net, De Gea had little else to do.
Two shots on target, two goals
Manchester United beat Liverpool for the 68th time in league competition; this is the most defeats Liverpool have suffered against a single side.
Manchester United have won four of their eight games against fellow 'big six' sides in the Premier League this season (W4 D1 L3), twice as many as they managed in the whole of last season (W2 D4 L4).
Liverpool have won only one of their seven Premier League games on the weekends immediately after a Champions League game this season (W1 D4 L2).
Manchester United have won 20 of their 30 Premier League games this season, already surpassing their totals in both 2016-17 (18) and 2015-16 (19) and equalling their number of league wins in 2014-15 (20).
Only Manchester United (67) have profited from more own goals in the Premier League than Liverpool (58).
Manchester United had just two shots on target in this match - both of which were scored by Marcus Rashford.
Rashford has scored with 29% of his shots in the Premier League against 'big six' clubs, compared to 10% against the other teams.
Rashford has scored seven of his 16 Premier League goals against teams in the 'big six' (44%).
Romelu Lukaku now has seven Premier League assists this season; more than in any previous campaign.
[b]What next[/img]

Match Stats
Live Text
Man Utd
1de Gea
25A ValenciaBooked at 89mins[/i]
8MataSubstituted forLingardat 89'minutes
7SanchezSubstituted forDarmianat 90+6'minutes
19RashfordBooked at 27mins[/i]Substituted forFellainiat 70'minutes
9R Lukaku
66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forWijnaldumat 80'minutes
4van Dijk
26RobertsonSubstituted forSolankeat 84'minutes
21Oxlade-ChamberlainBooked at 35mins[/i]Substituted forLallanaat 62'minutes
Referee:Craig PawsonAttendance:74,855
Match Stats
Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamLiverpoolPossessionHome32%Away68%ShotsHome5Away14Shots on TargetHome2Away2CornersHome1Away13FoulsHome10Away16
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Manchester United 2, Liverpool 1.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+7' Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Liverpool 1.
Posted at 90'+6' Substitution, Manchester United. Matteo Darmian replaces Alexis Sanchez.Posted at 90'+6' Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.Posted at 90'+5' Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Chris Smalling.Posted at 90'+5' Attempt blocked. Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.Posted at 90'+5' Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Eric Bailly.Posted at 90'+4' Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jesse Lingard.Posted at 90' Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Chris Smalling.Posted at 90' Attempt blocked. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dominic Solanke.
Posted at 89' Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 89' Sadio Mane (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 89' Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).
Posted at 89' Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Juan Mata.Posted at 85' Attempt blocked. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sanchez with a cross.Posted at 85' Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross.Posted at 85' Foul by Sadio Mane (Liverpool).Posted at 85' Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Posted at 84' Substitution, Liverpool. Dominic Solanke replaces Andrew Robertson.Posted at 84' Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by James Milner.Posted at 82' Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).Posted at 82' Scott McTominay (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 80' Offside, Manchester United. Ashley Young tries a through ball, but Marouane Fellaini is caught offside.
Posted at 80' Substitution, Liverpool. Georginio Wijnaldum replaces Trent Alexander-Arnold.Posted at 78' Foul by Dejan Lovren (Liverpool).Posted at 78' Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 77' Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Antonio Valencia.Posted at 75' Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).Posted at 75' Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 74' Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sadio Mane.Posted at 73' Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 73' Foul by Chris Smalling (Manchester United).Posted at 72' Foul by Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).Posted at 72' Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 71' Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Antonio Valencia.
Posted at 70' Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Marcus Rashford.Posted at 69' Delay over. They are ready to continue.Posted at 67' Delay in match Eric Bailly (Manchester United) because of an injury.Posted at 67' Foul by Andrew Robertson (Liverpool).Posted at 67' Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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