Carlos Tevez scored Sunday to give Manchester United a 1-0 win at Liverpool in the Premier League and extend the team's six-year unbeaten streak at Anfield. The Argentina forward's 43rd-minute goal from a corner also inflicted Liverpool's second straight league defeat after an unbeaten start to the season.
Despite a dominating display and a string of errors by United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, it would have made uncomfortable viewing for Liverpool's co-owners George Gillett Jr. and Tom Hicks. The Americans were set to hold post-match talks with manager Rafa Benitez for the first time since publicly feuding over player transfers in recent weeks.
Benitez's tactics were questioned last weekend when Liverpool slumped to a 3-1 loss at Reading, but he took no gambles for one of the season's toughest encounters and with the urgency of winning a first domestic title in 18 years.
The Spaniard retained the players who swept aside Marseille 4-0 to secure a berth in the knockout round of the Champions League _ just the third time in his three-year reign he has named an unchanged side.
But with halftime approaching, United piled on the pressure and scored from the game's first clear-cut opening.
A set-piece move, replicated from the training ground, saw Ryan Giggs send the corner along the ground to Wayne Rooney, who was unmarked on the edge of the penalty area, and slotted through for Tevez to raise into the roof of the net.
The most hyped fixture on the calendar wasn't matched on the field as a nervy opening period saw possession easily lost, although the hosts appeared the more lethal.
Steven Gerrard was given an early opening to produce Liverpool's first league win over United at Anfield in six years, but his third-minute free kick was cleared off the line by Nemanja Vidic and Sami Hyypia's overhead kick lacked power.
Hyypia skewed a speculative effort from 30 meters (yards) in the eighth, Fernando Torres misfired in the 12th and Gerrard saw another dead ball easily cleared in the 15th.
Harry Kewell seized on an error by Van der Sar's error in the 27th, but Anderson cleared off the line and the Brazilian then successfully obscured Torres' view of goal as he headed wide. Three minutes later, Van der Sar gifted the Reds another chance, colliding with Vidic as he failed to clear Gerrard's free kick, which struck Rio Ferdinand's back and edged toward goal until Patrice Evra scrambled a clearance.
Liverpool made a frantic start to the second half, with Torres and Gerrard carving out shots inside the opening minute. But on a scrappy and tight afternoon, Liverpool couldn't find the breakthrough to keep its title hopes alive.
Gerrard shot wide in the 55th from Kewell's cross and Ryan Babel shot wide in the 76th.
Backed by the despairing crowd in the 90th, substitute Peter Crouch shaved the post with a weak shot and Gerrard floated a free kick over.