By Toby Prince
David De Gea was installed in goal for United after signing a four-year extension, while Marouane Fellaini started in attack in place of the injured Wayne Rooney.
Liverpool continued without injured skipper, Jordan Henderson, alongside Brazilian Philippe Coutinho, who is serving suspension after a red card in the Reds previous game against West Ham.
After a subdued first 45, the game shot into life as Daley Blind and Ander Herrera struck to give the hosts a much deserved lead.
Christian Benteke then pulled one back late on with a stunning overhead kick but it was immediately cancelled out by a great goal by Anthony Martial.
The win gives Louis van Gaal some justification for his ‘philosophy’ as United rise to second in the Premier League but it raises more questions about Rodgers and his.
Rodgers had this to say after the game: “I thought in the first half we defended well but had nowhere near enough quality and composure on the ball.”
“We were disappointed with a couple of the goals. I never thought the free kick was a free-kick. Penalty, I think Herrera has done well, young Joe Gomez will learn he has to stay on his feet.
“We got back into the game with a brilliant goal but then we concede a disappointed third and that kills is.”