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Premier League: Liverpool defeats Manchester United

March 16, 2014 -- Updated 1751 GMT (0151 HKT)
Liverpool supporters are dreaming of their club's first league title since 1990. Liverpool has won 18 league titles in its history but has struggled in recent years to compete with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City. Liverpool supporters are dreaming of their club's first league title since 1990. Liverpool has won 18 league titles in its history but has struggled in recent years to compete with Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Liverpool defeats Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford
  • Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot
  • Gerrard missed a third penalty before Luis Suarez scored
  • Arsenal defeats Tottenham 1-0 in north London derby

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(CNN) -- "Make us dream" read the message.

As the Liverpool supporters danced and sang at the Theatre of Dreams, the nightmare continued for Manchester United manager David Moyes.

A crushing 3-0 victory over United was the least Brendan Rodgers' side deserved as it outclassed and outfought an insipid and pitiful United.

Two goals from Steven Gerrard, both from the penalty spot and a Luis Suarez strike, condemned United to defeat and gave yet more credence that Liverpool is a serious title contender.

Liverpool, which sits four points behind leader Chelsea with a game in hand, was a class apart on an afternoon where United's deficiencies were laid bare for all to see.

Read: Can Liverpool win title?

"It's a fantastic day personally but we came here to win the game," Gerrard told Sky Sports.

"We'll enjoy tonight but we need to move on quickly. We've shown today we're genuine contenders and we'll fight to the end.

"We played a diamond today and totally bossed the midfield and controlled the game. The Manchester United defense will not have had a harder game than against our strikers today.

"We believe that we can win the league. But the easiest thing in football is to talk the talk. We have to treat Cardiff and Sunderland the same as Manchester United. I maybe got a bit cocky with the last penalty but scored the two that mattered most."

Last season, United finished 28 points clear of Liverpool on its way to winning the Premier League title.

Now, Moyes' side is 14 points behind and faces the embarrassment of not even managing to qualify for European football.

On Wednesday, United meets Greek side Olympiakos in the second leg of its last 16 Champions League tie needing to overturn a two-goal deficit to progress.

Failure would represent another disastrous episode in Moyes' reign since replacing Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.

Worse for United is the success of its greatest rival - Liverpool.

A fifth successive league victory was recorded with consummate ease as United's lack of cohesion afforded the likes of Suarez and strike partner Daniel Sturridge more room than they could ever have imagined.

Liverpool dominated the opening 45 minutes and went ahead when Rafael, already on a yellow card, handled inside the penalty area.

Rafael, fortunate not to be sent off, then watched on as Gerrard expertly placed the ball into the corner.

United, with Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie, all on the field, struggled to make any real impact.

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Its only real opportunity of the first half came when Rooney's fierce effort was tipped away by Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.

Read: United in meltdown?

Quite what Moyes said to his players at halftime was unclear but he almost certainly not have expected what was to follow.

Just 24 second had elapsed when Phil Jones clumsily bundled over Joe Allen in the United penalty area and Gerrard swept home the spot kick.

United tried to respond and was unfortunate to be awarded a penalty when Glen Johnson appeared to handle.

Van Persie sent a header wide of the post as the home side attempted to gain a foothold in the game.

But any hope of a comeback should have been extinguished with 12 minutes to go when Nemanja Vidic was adjudged to have fouled Sturridge in the penalty area.

Vidic was shown a second yellow card and promptly dismissed but Gerrard could only hit the post on this occasion.

There was still time for Liverpool to appeal for a fourth penalty when Michael Carrick looked to have tripped Sturridge but referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the appeals.

Suarez should have added a third after outpacing the United defense but David de Gea produced a sublime save to deny the Liverpool striker.

But the Uruguayan didn't make the same mistake minutes later.

Sturridge attempted a shot from the edge of the penalty area and when the ball was deflected into Suarez's path, the forward coolly slotted the ball home.

The third and final goal sparked yet more jubilant scenes in the away section. "We're going to win the league," sang the Liverpool supporters.

Those chants may be premature but with Chelsea and Manchester City both still to visit Anfield, anything is possible.

"Make us dream" read the banner -- those dreams could yet come true.

Gunners

In the day's other game, Arsenal defeated north London rival Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Tomas Rosicky scored the only goal of the game after just 72 seconds.

The victory moves Arsenal to within four points of leader Chelsea with a game in hand.

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