LONDON - Ten-man Liverpool were left searching for their first Premier League win under new manager Brendan Rodgers as arch-rivals Manchester United came from behind to win 2-1 at an emotional Anfield yesterday.
This was Liverpool's first home match since an independent report cleared their fans of any responsibility for the 1989 Hillsborough disaster where 96 of the Merseysiders' supporters were crushed to death during an FA Cup semi-final.
The Reds played more than half the match a man down after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off in the 39th minute for a two-footed challenge on Jonny Evans.
But they still took a 46th-minute lead when captain Steven Gerrard — whose 10-year-old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the youngest fan to die at Hillsborough — volleyed home from near the penalty spot.
United only had to wait five minutes for an equaliser when Rafael curled in a superb shot from the right-hand side of the Liverpool area.
And with 15 minutes to go United — who had missed their last three penalties — were awarded a spot-kick when Liverpool defender Glen Johnson brought down Antonio Valencia.
There was a delay of several minutes as Liverpool defender Daniel Agger received treatment for an injury before Dutch striker Robin van Persie beat goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Victory moved United to within a point of leaders Chelsea while defeat left Liverpool languishing in the bottom three.
"It is a great result for us but we did not play well," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports.