Substitute Steven Gerrard was sent off less than a minute after coming on as Manchester United powered to a convincing win over Liverpool.
Gerrard had started the second half with a firm challenge on Juan Mata, but followed that up immediately with a stamp on Ander Herrera. Referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation about showing the red card.
Mata had opened the scoring after 14 minutes, picking up Herrera’s excellent pass on the right side and shooting across Simon Mignolet, bouncing the ball off the post into the net.
Liverpool were bizarrely subdued despite the rowdy and partisan home crowd. Their only real first-half chance came in the 35th minute as Jordan Henderson’s cross-field pass reached Daniel Sturridge in the box, who laid it off to Adam Lallana, but his shot screamed wide.
United found it even easier after their opponents were reduced to ten men, and Mata doubled the lead just before the hour mark with a spectacular overhead kick after an exchange of passes with Angel di Maria.
Daniel Sturridge grabbed a consolation after 69 minutes, beating David de Gea at his near post.
And Wayne Rooney had the opportunity to put the game out of sight in second-half injury time after Daley Blind was bundled over in the box by Emre Can, but his penalty was poor and easily saved by Mignolet.