Daniel Sturridge marked his 24th birthday with the winning goal as Liverpool beat Manchester United 1-0 on Sunday and Anfield celebrated a significant anniversary in its auspicious history.

Bill Shankly, the legendary manager who put Liverpool on the world football map, was born 100 years ago on Monday, which made the timing of this success, in such a heated local rivalry, all the more poignant.

The win also marked the first time in 19 years that Liverpool has opened a Premier League campaign with three consecutive victories and it is already five points clear of its old rival United.

Moyes was without Wayne Rooney due to a head injury that looks set to rule him out of England’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers and in his absence, the Scot’s poor record at Liverpool continued.

There were less than four minutes on the clock when Liverpool struck, with Sturridge stepping off the line to glance Daniel Agger’s header past David de Gea and claim his 11th goal in his last nine games.

Initially, United struggled to react, and Robin van Persie’s frustration told late in the half when he was booked for flying in on Agger before angrily clashing with Martin Skrtel.

United also lost Phil Jones to an apparent ankle injury before half-time, but there was a renewed determination to their play in the second period.

Ashley Young had a volley blocked by Glen Johnson and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had to field a Ryan Giggs header before parrying a rasping shot from substitute Nani.

Johnson hobbled off for Liverpool after hurting himself in a block tackle but the hosts survived, with van Persie spurning a good late chance by slashing wide of the near post in the 87th minute.

Swansea posts win

In the day’s other lunchtime game, Swansea City recorded its first victory of the season with a 2-0 success at West Bromwich Albion and leave the home side in the bottom three.

Ben Davies made the breakthrough with a brilliantly taken 22nd-minute volley and after Swansea resisted West Brom's efforts to get back into the game, Pablo Hernandez sealed victory seven minutes from time.

Michael Laudrup's side showed no ill effects from its trip to Romania to play Petrolul Ploiesti in the Europa League on Thursday, but Steve Clarke's West Brom are still seeking a first win, and first goal, of the nascent campaign.

The home side recalled Nicolas Anelka after he was granted compassionate leave due to the death of a close friend.

The results: Liverpool 1 (Sturridge 4) bt Manchester United 0; West Bromwich Albion 0 lost to Swansea City 2 (Davies 22, Hernandez 83). Saturday: Crystal Palace 3 (Gabbidon 9, Gayle 79-pen, O’Keefe 90) bt Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 64).

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