Louis Van Gaal may be at the center of controversy regarding his attitude with the players, but his men displayed no scarcity of motivation to win the high-voltage English Premier League encounter with Liverpool on Saturday.
Manchester United crushed their opponents 3-1 at home to move up to the second spot in the table. They are now five points behind city rivals Manchester City, who maintained their solid start this season by beating Crystal Palace in the other game of the day played earlier.
After a barren first half, Daley Blind drew first blood for the Red Devils shortly after the breather in the 49th minute. Liverpool’s Joe Gomez brought down Ander Herrera inside the box, and Herrera himself converted from the resulting spot-kick.
New recruit Christian Benteke produced the best moment for the visitors by scoring a stunning goal in the 84th minute. But Anthony Martial restored the two-goal lead two minutes later.
The match witnessed David De Gea‘s return under the United bar burying the entire chapter of his transfer controversy. But it was Anthony Martial who stole the limelight by notching up a goal on his debut for the Red Devils in the absence of seasoned campaigner Wayne Rooney in the United forward line. Rooney missed the all-important game due to an injury. United boss Van Gaal started with Marouane Fellaini up front, leaving Martial rooted in the bench.
Liverpool looked jittery in defense from the beginning but managed to hold fort as the hosts’ attack lacked purpose in the first half. United enjoyed 61 percent ball possession throughout the game, a testament of their dominance in the game.