Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United; Mata double seals win in action-packed derby

Manchester United left Anfield victorious after a 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool.

Manchester United strengthened their push for a place in the top four after a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield this afternoon.

The Red Devils beat their rivals 3-0 at Old Trafford back in December, and completed a league double over Brendan Rodgers' men with this victory.

Louis van Gaal's side were dominant in the first half, keeping the ball superbly before Juan Mata swept home from Ander Herrera's through ball.

The big talking point of the game came just 48 seconds into the second half, as substitute Steven Gerrard was sent off less than a minute after being introduced after a stamp on Herrera.

That left Liverpool short, and Mata made it 2-0 with a sensational bicycle kick from inside the box, rounding off an excellent display from the Spaniard.

Liverpool did make a fist of things though, with Daniel Sturridge beating David de Gea at his near post to make it 2-1 - but they couldn't find an equaliser.

In fact, United could have restored their two goal lead, as Wayne Rooney saw his penalty saved in added time after Emre Can had brought down Daley Blind inside the box.

The result leaves United in fourth place, five points clear of fifth placed Liverpool - and remain just two points behind Manchester City as they start to hit form again.

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