London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Birthday boy Daniel Sturridge buried a close-range header in the fourth minute as Liverpool remained unbeaten in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Manchester United Sunday at Anfield.
The striker, who turned 24 Sunday, raised his goal total to 11 from his last nine appearances in all competition to lift Liverpool to top spot of the standings with nine points from three wins in as many games.
Manchester United tried to battle back into the game but goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was defiant to tally his third clean sheet of the season.
“”I thought the result was outstanding, and defensively I thought we were very, very good. We’ll be more fluent and as the season goes on we’ll become better,” said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
“I think you see the togetherness and spirit this year, to get three wins out of three I can only be happy with,” he added.
Manchester United, for its part, slipped to a tie for fourth place in the standings with four points.
Rodgers was forced to change his starting lineup for the first time in the Barclays Premier League this season as a groin injury kept Kolo Toure out. Martin Skrtel replaced the Ivorian at the heart of Liverpool’s defense alongside Daniel Agger.
With Tiago Ilori, Mamadou Sakho and Victor Moses all watching on from the stands ahead of potential moves to Anfield, the hosts had the perfect start with a goal inside four minutes
Steven Gerrard’s corner was met by Agger and as his header flew towards goal, Sturridge reacted quickly to divert the ball into the back of the net from close range.
United had several chances to tie the game with Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie but both missed the target.
“I think we played really well, we just couldn’t get that last bit to score. With the exception of the opening few minutes when we gave away a bad goal, it was probably the best we have played all season,” said United manager David Moyes.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud scored his third goal in as many Premier League matches as Arsenal overcame Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Sunday.
Giroud buried a goal in the 23rd minute to give Arsene Wenger’s side a close win that vaulted them to third in the standings.
In the other Premier League match, Swansea City beat West Bromwich Albion, 2-0.