Brendan Rodgers' side were superior in all facets of the game and as United struggled for any kind of fluency in attack, their defence proved culpable too with Rafael guilty of a deliberate handball on 33 minutes when knocking the ball away from Luis Suarez.
Gerrard struck the penalty home with venom; Rafael looked rather sheepish despite somehow avoiding a second yellow card from Mark Clattenburg.
It took all of 44 minutes for an inhibited, sluggish United to fashion their first shot on target when Rooney saw his firm effort palmed away by Simon Mignolet, but hopes of an improved second-half display were dashed within seconds of the restart as Phil Jones clumsily barged into Joe Allen from behind.
Gerrard confidently found the corner once again to score his eighth penalty of the season, and it was no more than an inhibited, sluggish United deserved as they stumbled their way through the game with Moyes apparently unable to change the course of the contest.
However, Gerrard struck the post to deny himself a hat-trick before Sturridge was denied what appeared another penalty just minutes later.
Suarez rounded off the scoring on 84 minutes when tucking the ball home neatly from Sturridge’s scuffed ball, leaving Liverpool dreaming of the title and United - stuck in seventh, 14 points below their rivals - in the depths of despair.
PRE-MATCH: United make one change from the side which impressed against West Brom, captain Nemanja Vidic replacing Chris Smalling as a fluid and impressive front six remains intact; Liverpool also make one change as Sterling comes in for Coutinho, with Rodgers opting to retain Allen in a somewhat conservative move.
5’ - UNITED UNDER PRESSURE! Suarez wriggles into the box, stays upright despite contact from Fellaini and then is knocked to ground when Jones sticks in a leg to put the ball behind for a corner. Surprised he didn’t go down first time as he could have won a pen.
33’ - PENALTY FOR LIVERPOOL! Rafael, who has just been booked, sticks out a hand to prevent Suarez from taking the ball past him in the box and it’s a clear penalty. But where is the second yellow from Clattenburg? Bizarre.
34’ - GOAL! Manchester Utd 0-1 Liverpool! Gerrard fires the ball home from the spot as De Gea goes the wrong way. Tremendous spot-kick from the Liverpool skipper and Rafael looks rather glum.
44’ - CHANCE FOR UNITED! Finally the home side have a shot on target. Rafael, again, embarks down the right and feeds Rooney, who sees his side-footed drive saved by Mignolet in spectacular fashion. Rooney then sees the follow-up blocked by Skrtel.
46’ – GOAL! Manchester United 0-2 Liverpool! Jones clatters into Allen from behind as he tries to head the ball away in the box and it’s a second penalty within seconds of the restart. Gerrard puts it in the corner again!
77’ – PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL! RED CARD! Steven Gerrard passes up the chance to make history when failing to be the first player to score a hat-trick of penalties in the Premier League, but justice is done as Sturridge dived to get Vidic sent off.
80’ - SURELY A PENALTY?? Carrick catches Sturridge with his trailing leg and Liverpool should have had a FOURTH spot-kick. Clattenburg probably evening things out.
82’ - REMARKABLE SAVE! De Gea flings himself to his right to tip an effort from Suarez round the post after the striker lifts the ball over Jones and gets away from the defender.
84’ - GOAL! Manchester Utd 0-3 Liverpool! Suarez gets his goal and United are a complete shambles! The striker just stays onside to collect a scuffed ball from Sturridge and he tucks the ball away nicely.
Only Everton v Liverpool (20) has seen more red cards than the Liverpool v Manchester United fixture in the Premier League (15).
Liverpool have been awarded more penalties than any other Premier League side this season (10).
Steven Gerrard had scored 11 Premier League penalties in a row, stretching back to February 2013, before his miss at the third time of asking..
Man Utd will have a total of 48 points from 29 matches, their worst total ever at this stage of the season in the PL era, and six points fewer than second-worst 1992/93 (54).
Vidic has four reds in the Premier League versus Liverpool - no other player has more than two against a single club.
When will United put Moyes out of his misery? This was about as bad as it can get for a United manager. They were dismal all over the pitch and thoroughly outclassed, by Liverpool of all teams. Can Moyes be trusted with the money United are likely to spend this summer? A change could do them good, and soon.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): Scored twice from the spot – even if he should have had a third – but perhaps even more importantly helped Liverpool win the midfield battle with ease. He snapped into tackles and spread the ball around to provide the foundation for Liverpool’s win.
Man Utd: De Gea 6, Rafael 6, Jones 5, Vidic 5, Evra 5, Mata 5, Fellaini 5, Carrick 4, Januzaj 5, Rooney 5, Van Persie 5. Subs: Ferdinand N/A, Cleverley 5, Welbeck 5.
Liverpool: Mignolet 6, Johnson 6, Skrtel 7, Agger 6, Flanagan 6, Gerrard 9, Allen 8, Henderson 8, Sterling 7, Suarez 8, Sturridge 7. Subs: Lucas N/A, Coutinho 7, Aspas N/A.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
#MUFC 0-3 #LFC - Man Utd concede three pens and pick up a red card in a humbling defeat. Are you SURE this happened at Old Trafford?
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Steven Gerrard
- Luis Suarez
- Daniel Sturridge
- Nemanja Vidic
- Premier League
- Mark Clattenburg