1/ Van Persie is back to his best
Van Persie has struggled to reach the heights he did in his first season at Old Trafford but but his confidence, work rate and fitness has returned and United are starting to reap the rewards. And with Falcao and Wilson waiting in the wings, Van Persie knows he must remain at the top of his game.
2/ De Gea is world class
Without doubt, the man of the match at Old Trafford. His save from Sterling 25 seconds before the opening goal was key and the Spaniard went on to make save after save to ensure United stayed ahead. He’s sure come a long way since his early days at United, and they'll be hoping Real Madrid don't start circling...
3/ United are winning ugly
The win-at-all-costs mentality has returned to United under Van Gaal and, just like at Southampton last week, United were not as fluid or even as convincing as the score-line suggests. But with De Gea in goal and Van Persie in attack, United are grinding out results – always a good sign.
4/ Liverpool are (still) in crisis
There’s only so much blame you can place on the departure of Luis Suarez. Six months on, Liverpool should still be competitive, particularly in a derby game against Manchester United. In reality they were outfought by a side that wanted victory more and Brendan Rodgers has serious issues motivating his squad and, possibly, even keeping his job.
5/ Liverpool need a new goalkeeper
Brad Jones couldn’t do a great deal to stop any of United’s goals (except dive the right way for the opener, perhaps) but the need for a commanding, experienced goalkeeper is obvious. Simon Mignolet’s dropping was not exactly a surprise and Liverpool should be looking at signing a first-class replacement. Is Petr Cech that man?
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