London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Striker Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic each delivered a goal to carry Premier League leader Manchester United past archrival Liverpool, 2-1, Sunday at Old Trafford.
Van Persie scored in the 19th minute for his 65th goal in 77 Premier League matches, his 10th in the past 10 games, his fifth in as many matches against Liverpool and his 20th in all competitions.
Vidic added the insurance goal in the 55th minute for a 2-0 advantage before substitute Daniel Sturridge put Liverpool on the board in the 57th minute.
Sturridge had a chance to snatch an equalizer with five minutes left but his effort sailed over the goal, allowing United to escape with the victory.
The win gave United a more comfortable seven-point edge over closest pursuer and defending champion Manchester City, which later beat Arsenal, 2-0.
United has 55 points in 22 games while City has 48 markers. Chelsea is a far third with 41 points.
“It was as good a performance as we have had for a long time and we should have been three or four up but when they got their goal they got inspired by it. Their supporters got going and it was hard work after that. I am just glad we won the match,” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“We’re disappointed with those goals but we’ll take great hope from the second-half performance. We know the improvements we need to make if we’re to sustain a challenge at the top of the table,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said.
Meanwhile, James Milner and Edin Dzeko both scored in the first half to lift City to a convincing win over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
It was a bad start for Arsenal as referee Mike Dean sent off defender Laurent Koscielny for wrestling Edin Dzeko to the floor in the 9th minute.
Then, City capitalized on Arsenal’s loss and took control of the match with goals from Milner and Dzeko in the 21st and 32nd minute, respectively.
City almost added a third goal before the break but Javi Garcia’s attempt was headed off the line by Jack Wilshere.