EPL: United pay the penalty

EPL: United pay the penalty
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (C) celebrates scoring his second penalty against Manchester United with team mates during their English Premier League football match.

UK - David Moyes will do well to survive this.

Manchester United's supporters will accept a difficult first season under the Scot.

They will accept a year without Champions League football.

But they will find it very, very difficult to accept a heavy defeat at home by a markedly superior Liverpool team.

Two penalties, both beautifully dispatched by Steven Gerrard, separated the two teams on the scoreboard by the 46th minute.

Another was smashed against the post in the 78th minute by Gerrard.

Luis Suarez scored a third shortly afterwards. As awful as this was, it could easily have been worse.

Liverpool were faster, smarter and more precise.

United were sluggish, unimaginative and reckless.

At one end, Suarez and Daniel Sturridge pulled their markers all over the pitch, feasting on the passes supplied by Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling.

At the other, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney drifted in and out of the game, rarely troubling Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel.

Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj were peripheral figures.

They were drab and unthreatening, much as they have been all season.

There was no gentle build-up to this game.

Full Speed

Liverpool began at full speed, pressing United in their own half, eagerly trying to force mistakes and, for the most part, succeeding.

Rodgers used Sterling in a central role, hoping that his pace could cause problems between the lines.

It worked well. Marouane Fellaini was left to marshal him, more often than not looking like a large dog vainly attempting to catch a frog in his jaws.

No quarter was asked and none was given.

Gerrard and Phil Jones hurled themselves into one early 50-50 ball, with the Liverpool captain coming off best, leaving his England teammate dazed on the floor.

Moments later, van Persie hit John Flanagan like a sledgehammer, earning a rapturous round of applause.

But, while Liverpool maintained that aggression, United slowly waned.

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