Juan Mata's sensational performance was enough to help Manchester United claim a vital 2-1 win at Anfield over rivals Liverpool when the two teams last met back in March.
Brendan Rodgers' men make the short 30-mile trip down the M62 to Old Trafford for Saturday's evening kick-off hoping to avenge last season's double defeat after seeing his side lose 3-0 in December. Liverpool have not come away with three points from Old Trafford since their emphatic 4-1 win back in 2009.
Louis van Gaal's United were leading at the break thanks to a well placed goal from Juan Mata, but Rodgers needed a change. The Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was introduced to the game at half time resulting in a huge roar from the home crowd as this was to be his last outing against United as a Liverpool player.
However, the moment didn't last as after a strong challenge on Mata, Gerrard clearly stamped on Ander Herrera resulting in Martin Atkinson producing a straight red - 38 seconds after the skipper had entered the field of play.
A moment of madness from the captain who apologised about his actions. He said: "I need to accept it; the decision was right, I've let down my team-mates and the fans. I take full responsibility. I don't know what caused it. Probably just a reaction to the initial tackle. I shouldn't say more about it really. I've just come out here to apologise to the dressing room and supporters."
After a first half strike from the Spaniard, United took control after the sending off and as United's number eight played the ball to Angel di Maria, nobody knew what was going to happen next. Di Maria cleverly played the ball over the top to Mata 15 yards away from goal who then acrobatically guided the ball past Simon Mignolet into the bottom corner of the goal.
A goal fit for the occasion, United knew the victory was in sight and three more points closer to that all important fourth spot. Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge grabbed one back for the home side causing a nervous finish to the game. United captain Wayne Rooney had the chance to bury Liverpool but the former Evertonian couldn't convert his spot kick as Mignolet pulled off a smart save but the red devils managed to hold on for the win.