The Red Devils were sensational in front of their home crowd as Erik ten Hag’s selection gamble paid off with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford scoring for the hosts. Cristiano Ronaldo was a headline omission but from the first whistle United out ran and out thought their arch rivals.

Liverpool were seeking a third straight win at Old Trafford in the league but produced an error-prone performance as their defence was picked apart regularly. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were unable to deal with the pace of United, who went ahead after 16 minutes thanks to a composed finish from Sancho.

A VAR check meant the Stretford End were made to wait before they could fully celebrate Rashford’s second, after he’d converted once sent clear. Liverpool, who are struggling with injuries, pulled one back through Mohamed Salah to set up a tense finish, but they couldn’t find a leveller.

These are the talking points from a huge night at Old Trafford

The hosts had been heavily criticised but produced a stellar response

1 The fightback

United were looking for a response and they certainly produced one. Come half-time, no matter the full-time result, there was enough in this performance to build on and for the fans to connect with once more, but the hosts continued to play on the front foot and hammered home their advantage. It is hard to fathom this team lost 4-0 at Brentford such was the confidence the hosts played with.

It says a lot for how far energy and getting the basics right will take you. From minute one United were at it – shutting down their opponents and putting in challenges as they looked every inch a side ready to challenge once more. The club’s players have long been criticised for their attitude more than their ability, but this proved that they have plenty of fight. The task now will be producing it regularly.

2 Reds concede first.. again

Much was made of Liverpool’s unwelcome habit of coming from behind. Rarely has it been an issue, but it is far from ideal. Before kick-off the Reds had conceded first in their last six games dating back to last season, which included games against Tottenham, Aston Villa and Wolves.

Jadon Sancho scored the game’s opener

This term they’ve shipped against Fuham and Crystal Palace and Sancho’s strike means Klopp has seen his side go 1-0 down for seven straight league games. No longer an irritating stat and surely something that needs addressing. Liverpool were slow to get going in Manchester and were punished. Unable to find the answers, their trend of going down a goal is certainly a concern.

3 No Maguire, no Ronaldo, no problem

Dropping your captain and your top scorer from last season is a call that only works if you win – or at least perform adequately. The pair were overlooked for selection after the loss last weekend, in which neither player covered themselves in glory. Ten Hag then resisted putting Ronaldo on at half-time, when he instead inserted Anthony Martial into the contest.

Maguire’s performances have long been criticised and the combination of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane could be one Ten Hag sticks to going forward, especially in games against the top sides. Ronaldo’s omission may well prove significant, particularly with him wanting to leave, and the team proving life exists beyond him with the Portuguese star getting the final five minutes.

Marcus Rashford doubled his team’s lead

4 Is there genuinely a Liverpool problem?

Klopp has admitted himself they were lacklustre and had their problems in the opening two games. Now, after this display at Old Trafford, especially in the first-half, any doubts over Liverpool may be further magnified. The Reds have been so successful in recent years that it seems almost inevitable they will remain at that level, but that assumption is being tested.

The decision not to recruit a midfield looks to be an issue with each passing game, especially as their key players in that area continue to look their age. Defensively they can be got at with Virgil van Dijk miles off his best level, which will be a major concern with injuries to the likes of Joel Matip, as their high line continues to be picked apart.

Liverpool’s defence was continuously picked apart

5 The Glazer agenda continues

United fans want them gone – simple as. Anger and frustration towards the American owners has increased in recent weeks as further demonstrations were held. Some 10,000 fans were believed to have been involved in a protest that marched towards Old Trafford.

Casemiro was presented to the supporters before kick-off, the Brazilian costing some £60m, but that did nothing to deter from the way the owners have ran the club, even if money continues to be spent. Winning during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure largely meant fans were tolerant of the owners and three points on Monday may be the talking point, but the desire to get the Americans out will not stop any time soon.