The hosts have made a fast start their trademark at Anfield under Rodgers - but United turned the tables comprehensively và fully merited the lead given khổng lồ then when Herrera slipped in Mata superbly for a composed finish in front of the Kop.
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The visitors' tempo meant Liverpool were getting no joy in midfield or attaông chồng, where Sturridge cut an isolated figure and Raheem Sterling was pushed to the periphery on the right flank.
Sturridge did, however, phối up Liverpool's best chance of the half when he played in Lallamãng cầu with a clear sight of goal. The former Southampton man took aim before sending a side-footed finish wastefully wide.
Lallamãng cầu was the player sacrificed for the brief introduction of Gerrard, who hinted at his approach with a thunderous challenge on Mata, followed seconds later with another tangle involving Herrera.
Liverpool 1-2 Man United: Reds can still make top four - Brendan Rodgers
For a player of such vast experience, Gerrard's reaction - appearing to stamp on his opponent on the ground - was only going to lớn kết thúc one way, with a deserved red thẻ.
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Liverpool's fans were furious, especially when Phil Jones escaped with a yellow thẻ for a wild lunge on Jordan Henderson - & their mood darkened further when United added a brilliant second after 58 minutes.
Angel Di Maria, on as a substitute for the limping Ashley Young, lifted the ball inlớn the area for Mata to deposit a brilliant low finish past keeper Simon Mignolet with an acrobatic scissor kichồng.
Liverpool had actually responded well lớn Gerrard's dismissal and kept the game alive sầu with more than đôi mươi minutes left when Sturridge beat De Gea with a shot at his near post that the normally impeccable United keeper should have sầu dealternative text with much better.
The final drama came with that missed Rooney penalty after Emre Can fouled Daley Blind, but fortunately for Rooney it was not to prove sầu expensive sầu.