Football: Manchester United completed the double over arch-rivals Liverpool today thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic.
The home side took a two-goal lead before substitute Daniel Sturridge halved the deficit for the visitors.
But despite a late rally from the Anfield outfit, United held out to claim all three points and maintain their advantage at the top of the Premier League over second-placed Manchester City.
United boss Alex Ferguson said: “We would have taken the score before the game — the three points. But the first-half performance and up until we scored the second goal we were absolutely magnificent.
“It was as good a performance we’ve had for a long time.
“When they get the goal they get inspired. The crowd get going, the supporters get going and it was hard work after that, to be honest with you.”
The opening goal was well-crafted.
Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa combined to find Patrice Evra, who put a low cross into the box for van Persie to sweep the ball home.
The summer signing from Arsenal has now scored in five club appearances in a row for the first time since he came to England in 2004.
The Dutchman then turned provider for United’s second early into the second half.
His free-kick found Evra on at the back post, whose header took a slight deflection off Vidic to beat Pepe Reina.
But with United having already conceded 28 goals this season prior to kickoff, it almost seemed inevitable that Liverpool would get a chance to get back into the game.
And when second-half substitute Sturridge popped up just minutes after United’s second to score his first league goal since his recent move from Chelsea, there was an immediate feeling of anxiety around Old Trafford.
Sturridge — who impressed following his introduction — then had the chance to level things up with five minutes remaining but could only fire the ball over the bar after good work from Luis Suarez.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised the contribution of his £12 million signing after the game.
He said: “I just think that this is a boy who can be a real top striker in this country — he’s going to score many goals for Liverpool.”