With this game being overshadowed with United’s Patrice Evra and Suarez coming face to face for the first time since the Uruguayan served an eight game ban for racially abusing the Frenchman the first-half was low key with the host’s having the majority of the possession but without really threatening to score.
Paul Scholes had Man United’s best chance when he headed straight at keeper Jose Reina but the moment of controversy arrived just before the break as last man Rio Ferdinand, as television replays showed, just got the ball ahead of Suarez who claimed he had been fouled and wanted the England international to see red.
As the whistle blew for the break Suarez angrily kicked the ball into touch sparking a minor incident amongst the players.
The Uruguayan had been the subject of controversy after refusing to shake the hand of Patrice Evra before the game.
But within three minutes of the restart United had scored twice, both by Rooney.
The first followed a Ryan Giggs corner which was flicked-on and Rooney volleyed home. Then Jay Spearing was caught in possession and Antonio Valencia immediately slipped the ball through for the England international to double the host’s lead.
At this stage there seemed no way back for Liverpool who looked disjointed and shocked by the two-goal salvo. The home side easily retained possession and looked to be comfortably playing out time until with ten minutes remaining Liverpool were handed a lifeline.
Substitute Charlie Adam flung over a free kick which hit Ferdinand before falling kindly for Suarez to poke home from close range.
The men from Anfield increased the tempo but it was too late and United clung on for the tree points and their seventh league win over Liverpool at Old Trafford in eight matches.
Referee: Phil Dowd
Venue: Old Trafford
Man Utd scorers: Rooney 47,49
Liverpool scorers: Suarez 80
TRIBAL ASKS: Rooney ignored all the baggage surrounding this game to fire Man Utd back to the top. Suarez looked like he was trying to fight the whole world and lost his focus.
Yellow cards: Downing (LIV), Carrick (MANU)