Man Utd 3-1 Liverpool: New boy Martial scores solo goal [Match report + highlights]
Louis Van Gaal experimented bizarrely and it paid off. The sights of Marouan Fellaini upfront surprised many and even more when he was left on the pitch despite being out rightly ineffective.
David De Gea returned for United and picked from where he stopped with impressive saves. Brendan Rodgers improvised heavily following his inability to call on Philippe Coutinho who was sent off against Westham but his inexperienced midfield collapsed eventually.
The atmosphere was as frenzy as always, new faces for the latest round of an ageless rivalry but the feeling is still very much the same, red and white shirts adorned the theatre of dreams with the vociferous Liverpool traveling fans making themselves heard.
The first half was as boring as Van Gaal's philosophy stories but the second half was the exact opposite.
But the second half was lively, Daley Blind volleyed home from Juan Mata's corner just four minutes after the restart. See the goal below:
De Gea denied Christian Benteke twice as Liverpool grew in confidence but just as they looked to be on the ascendancy, disaster struck, referee Mike Oliver pointed to the spot and Ander Herrera made no mistake with an emphatic finish.
Christian Benteke produced a moment of brilliance with an overhead kick that beat De Gea hands down.
But the Old Trafford crowd were saved from the burdens of a nervy finish as mega money signing Anthony Martial came off the bench to slide past Simon Mignolet after dancing round Nathaniel Clyne and Skrtel.
Manchester United recovered well from last weekend's capitulation to Swansea and moved within five points of their neighbors Manchester City.