MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 24 minutes of his first start of 2018 before Manchester United held on for a 2-1 win over fierce rival Liverpool to strengthen its second place in the Premier League on Saturday.
In a typically frenetic match between England’s two biggest teams historically, Liverpool failed to handle United’s aggressive and direct start as two long balls forward resulted in goals from the 20-year-old Rashford in the 14th and 24th minutes.
Lackluster in the first half, Liverpool improved and reduced the deficit through an own-goal by Eric Bailly but couldn’t manage an equalizer, slipping five points behind United in the race for second place behind Manchester City.
Having also beaten Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford two weeks ago, United looks increasingly assured of a Champions League qualifying spot through a top-four finish. Jose Mourinho’s side is 12 points clear of fifth-place Chelsea, which played later Saturday.