MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday to secure its sixth win in a row in the English Premier League.
Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie scored the goals for Louis van Gaal’s side, which moved within five points of second place Manchester City and eight behind leaders Chelsea in the EPL standings.
But the Man of the Match on Sunday was goalkeeper David de Gea, who several brilliant saves to deny the visitors and earned a clean sheet.
“I think we have scored wonderful goals. We also kept the shape very good,” Louis van Gaal told Sky Sports. “In spite of the goals we gave a lot of chances away.
“That was every time we gave unnecessary passes away and that is how we have to improve.
“You can always say that some players are the most influential in a game and of course David De Gea has a big influence. He did it very well but I can mention others who were also very good and had a big influence.”
Rooney opened the scoring for Manchester United in the 12th minute when he side-footed home from a cross by Antonio Valencia before Mata made it 2-0 five minutes before the halftime break after heading home from close range.
Mata then setup Van Persie for his seventh EPL goal of the season and netted his goal in the 71st minute.
“The fans were brilliant today. Again, they were our 12th man. And again, David was outstanding. He was brilliant – it’s not often a team wins 3-0 and the goalkeeper is man of the match,” Van Persie told Sky Sports.
“I think Michael Carrick made the difference today, he is so confident on the ball. All of the defenders were calm today.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was happy with the number of chances his team was able to create, but was left disappointed at not taking any of the chances. Rodgers also praised De Gea after the brilliant outing by the Spanish international.
“I thought we had done enough to win the game, it epitomised our season really. We created so many chances today and David De Gea was man of the match,” he said.
“He’s had four or five games like that this season. David’s a top class goalkeeper and his ability to make saves is outstanding but his distribution is also excellent, he knows when to go short and when to go long.”
Manchester United v Liverpool
Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Carrick, Evans, Valencia, Fellaini, Rooney, Young, Mata, van Persie, Wilson. Subs: Falcao, Januzaj, Lindegaard, Ander Herrera, Fletcher, McNair, Blackett
Liverpool: Brad Jones, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Henderson, Gerrard, Allen, Moreno, Coutinho, Sterling, Lallana. Subs: Toure, Lambert, Lucas, Mignolet, Can, Balotelli, Markovic
Referee: Martin Atkinson