Virgil van Dijk’s header helped Liverpool on their way to a 2-0 win over Manchester United at Anfield as they extended their lead at the top to 16 points.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had two further goals ruled out before the interval and upped the intensity again in the second half before Mohamed Salah’s goal added gloss to the win late on.
The failure to find the second goal until stoppage time made for a nervy finale and United had their moments in the second half with Anthony Martial going close, but there was to be no equaliser.
United do remain the only team to take points off Liverpool this season but – without the injured Marcus Rashford – there was to be no repeat here for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. United had made a promising start too but their early endeavour was soon undermined when they conceded from a corner for the eighth time in the Premier League this season
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery from the right found the head of Van Dijk, who had the run on Brandon Williams and Harry Maguire to power the ball beyond David de Gea
The clash between goalscorer and goalkeeper was reprised amid some controversy midway through the first half when Liverpool thought they had doubled their advantaged.
De Gea went up for a high ball after Salah had misdirected his shot, but the United goalkeeper dropped the ball inside the six-yard box under pressure from Van Dijk.
Sadio Mane gathered possession and fed Roberto Firmino, who curled the ball beautifully into the corner only for a VAR review to disallow it for Van Dijk’s robust challenge.
Liverpool came out with even greater intent in the second half and Salah should have scored from Robertson’s left-wing cross but could not get the right contact on the ball.
Jordan Henderson then produced a brilliant left-footed shot that was superbly tipped onto the post by De Gea as Liverpool continued to sustain attack after attack.
There was a warning for Liverpool when Fred fired wide and the big chance for United came when Martial blazed over from a good position just before the hour mark.
With the result in the balance, United pushed hard to level things up with Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood being introduced but the clear-cut opening never arrived.
Instead, it was Salah who had the final say, scoring his first goal against Manchester United after racing onto Alisson’s clearance up the field and slotting the ball beyond De Gea. United and Solskjaer will take heart in a spirited effort. For Liverpool and Klopp, they will take the win and the points that edge them that little bit closer to that long-awaited Premier League title.