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Liverpool 1, Manchester United 0: First Thoughts

Yet another Daniel Sturridge first-half goal brought Liverpool a third league victory in a row to celebrate the striker's 24th birthday and Bill Shankly's impending 100th.

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Liverpool 1 Sturridge 4'
Manchester United 0

  • Liverpool made most of the early running but Manchester United slowly got back into the game through the mature play of Michael Carrick, who often appeared as a single pivot when United had possession as Cleverley pushed forward to support Welbeck and van Persie. Gerrard's enthusiasm and willingness to disrupt play early in the game was admirable after 120 minutes in midweek, it was he who set the tone more than any other player.

  • Welcome to Anfield Tiago Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilorii, Victor Moses, and Mamadou Sakho. It's great that you could provide Kolo Touré some company. Please don't get injured anytime soon.

  • Liverpool competed impressively in the first half and it was curious to see the champions losing composure in possession as well as discipline in duels on the pitch towards the end of the first period. Liverpool maintained defensive solidity out of possession with a defensive central square of Agger, Skrtel, Lucas, and Gerrard.

  • The swing in the second half was significant, Liverpool ended the first half up in aerial duels and in possession but the second period saw a drastic shift in momentum as well as control. The visitors ended the match dominant in the air and on the ground yet Liverpool held firm. Liverpool FC defended their patch.

  • Third game in and Liverpool sit top of the league by being the only side with a 100% record after three games. As Liverpool's famous anthem rang out in victory as a fitting tribute to Bill Shankly, let's remember the great man's immortal words today, "If you are first you are first. If you are second you are nothing."

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season. To share your thoughts on the goings on elsewhere in football today, head on over to the Sunday open thread.

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