Manchester U 3 Liverpool 0
Manchester United 3 Liverpool 0, Old Trafford, English Premier League, December 14, 2014. Manchester United collected their sixth Premiership win in a row as they beat Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney put United ahead on twelve minutes before Juan Mata and Robin van Persie scored a goal each in the 40th and 71st minutes respectively.
Manchester United, who had overtaken Liverpool’s record of eighteen English League titles in the 2010-11 season, had managed to win four of their previous five home fixtures against The Anfielders. And even though The Manchester Reds had suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford in the corresponding Premier League meeting of the 2013-14 campaign, United were regarded as favourites to overcome their North West rivals. In their previous five Premiership encounters, Manchester United had managed to overcome Crystal Palace, Hull City, and Stoke City on their home ground, and Arsenal and Southampton on away soil, and Louis van Gaal´s side were brimming with self-confidence. On the medical front, the former Netherlands head coach had to make do without the physical presence of defenders Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling, plus midfielders Daley Blind and Angel di Maria, who were all sidelined with different injury problems, but central defender Phil Jones and right fullback Rafael da Silva were both back from longtime injuries.
As the match turned out, Manchester United, had no problems whatsoever in defeating Fenway Sports Group owned Liverpool at Old Trafford. The Mancunians, who played like a symphonic orchestra, were two goals up at the interval, and the home outfit added one more goal in the second half of the heavyweight Premier League fixture between the two giant teams of English football. The Merseysiders started off the game well enough and Three Lions international Raheem Sterling came close to giving Liverpool the lead in the eleventh minute of the tussle as he forced United goalkeeper David de Gea into a quick block. But it was Manchester United who went in front when rocket-heeled wing back Antonio Valencia outmaneuvered two opponents before crossing low to Old Trafford captain Wayne Rooney who found the back of the net with a well placed shot from inside the eighteen-yard area only a minute later. As the first period wore on, United kept on launching attacks and Spanish international Juan Mata ultimately doubled the advantage for the hosts as the forward thinking midfield conductor nodded the ball home from an offside position five minutes ahead of the sound of the half-time whistle. Following the resumption of the contest, Manchester United continued to dominate proceedings, but the visitors were nevertheless close to reducing the deficit on several occasions during the second frame of the clash. However, with the scoreboard clock ticking down, United stretched their advantage further courtesy of inform Netherlands international marksman Robin van Persie who managed to find the target for The Reds at the end of a magnificent counter-attack in the 71st minute of the Sunday encounter.
Being one of the main protagonists at The Theatre of Dreams, David de Gea was nothing but outstanding in goal for Manchester United against Liverpool and the twenty-four-year-old shot stopper produced a string of phenomenal saves during The North West Derby. After comfortably beating the Liverpudlians 3-0, Louis van Gaal´s title chasers were now third in the Premier League with thirty-one points gained from sixteen matches played, five points adrift of oil money fuelled crosstown adversaries Manchester City in second place, and eight points behind Roman Abramovich´s table topping Chelsea. As for Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers´s boys had won twenty-one points from the same amount of games played and found themselves tenth in the top-flight table. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Juan Mata, Robin van Persie, James Wilson. Substitutes: Tyler Blackett, Paddy McNair, Ander Herrera, Darren Fletcher, Adnan Januzaj, Radamel Falcao, Anders Lindegaard. Liverpool Team: Brad Jones, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Adam Lallana, Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling. Substitutes: Emre Can, Lucas Leiva, Kolo Toure, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Mario Balotelli, Simon Mignolet.
David de Gea Quickfacts
David de Gea was handed his Barclays Premier League debut for Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson in a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on the opening day of the 2011-12 campaign and proceeded to play 39 matches for the club during his inaugural season at Old Trafford.