Manchester United had a Dimitar Berbatov hat-trick to thank for a thrilling 3-2 victory over bitter local rivals Liverpool. Whilst Berbatov was doing the business at one end his defensive colleagues were handing Liverpool an unexpected lifeline at the other.
United were leading 2-0 but allowed two quick second half goals from Steven Gerrard to bring them level, only for Berbatov to spare Sir Alex Ferguson's blushes with a headed winner six minutes from time.
The Bulgarian had given the host's a half-time lead and then doubled their advantage with an acrobatic second.
Liverpool took belief from this goal and moments later a badly organised defensive wall allowed Gerrard to restore parity direct from a free kick.
United rallied and the Bulgarian claimed the match ball when he rose to head home John O'Shea's cross.
Man Utd scorers: Berbatov 42, 59, 84 Liverpool scorers: Gerrard pen 64, 70
Referee: Howard Webb
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester Attendance: 75,213
MAN UTD 01 Van der Sar 03 Evra 15 Vidic 22 O'Shea (yellow card) 23 Evans (yellow card) 11 Giggs (Macheda 82) 17 Nani (Gibson 88) 18 Scholes (yellow card) 24 Fletcher 09 Berbatov (Anderson 88) 10 Rooney (yellow card)
Substitutes 29 Kuszczak, 06 Brown, 12 Smalling, 08 Anderson, 28 Gibson, 07 Owen, 27 Macheda
LIVERPOOL 25 Reina 02 G Johnson 03 Konchesky (Agger 81) 23 Carragher 37 Skrtel 04 Raul Meireles (Jovanovic 79) 08 Gerrard 10 Cole 17 Maxi (Ngog 62 yellow card) 28 C Poulsen 09 Torres
Substitutes 01 Jones, 05 Agger, 16 Kyrgiakos, 21 Lucas, 14 Jovanovic, 19 Babel, 24 Ngog