United 2-1 Liverpool
Manchester United earned a deserved 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford to kickstart the Erik ten Hag era and leave their rivals winless after three Premier League games.
Ten Hag elected to drop Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire following successive losses to begin the campaign, a decision that was rewarded by a much-improved display.
An incisive move culminated in Sancho calmly slotting past Alisson after 16 minutes as Liverpool conceded first in a club-record seventh consecutive Premier League game.
Marcus Rashford’s goal early in the second half gave United breathing space prior to Mohamed Salah’s header nine minutes from time, which proved a mere consolation.
The hosts’ first-half display was in complete contrast to their 4-0 loss at Brentford, with Anthony Elanga – preferred to Ronaldo – striking the post early on with just Alisson to beat.
United were ahead soon after when Sancho collected Elanga’s pass, fooled James Milner and Alisson with a dummy and found the bottom-left corner from the first shot on target.
Liverpool struggled to get going but nearly levelled before half-time in bizarre circumstances as Bruno Fernandes miscued a clearance against Lisandro Martinez on the goal-line.
With Old Trafford rocking, despite threats of a walk out in protest at the club’s owners, half-time substitute Anthony Martial played in Rashford on the counter for United’s second.
Rashford was denied another by a good Alisson save, while David de Gea kept out Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino before Salah nodded in after United failed to deal with a corner.
Despite some late pressure from Liverpool, the home side – perhaps fortunate not to see Fernandes sent off following a kerfuffle after Salah’s goal – held on for a massive victory.