Daniel Sturridge capped his birthday with the winner as Liverpool maintained their unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
The striker - who turned 24 on Sunday - made it 11 goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions with a close-range header in the fourth minute to move the hosts top of the table.
United battled in vain to come back into the game, but Simon Mignolet remained defiant as he kept his third clean sheet of the season.
Brendan Rodgers was forced to change his Liverpool starting XI for the first time in the Premier League this season as a groin injury kept Kolo Toure out. Martin Skrtel replaced the Ivorian at the heart of Liverpool’s defence alongside Daniel Agger.
Wayne Rooney was the notable absentee for the visitors - the striker ruled out with a head injury – with Antonio Valencia dropping to the bench as Ashley Young and Ryan Giggs replaced them.
With Tiago Ilori, Mamadou Sakho and Victor Moses all watching on from the stands ahead of potential moves to Anfield, the hosts had the perfect start with a goal inside four minutes.
Steven Gerrard’s corner was met by Agger and as his header flew towards goal, Sturridge reacted quickly to divert the ball into the back of the net from close range.
United reacted well to conceding so early and should have levelled on three occasions as Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie both missed good chances.
Welbeck fired two shots straight at Simon Mignolet and Van Persie failed to react to a Giggs corner that had evaded a host of players inside the penalty area.
Rodgers’ side controlled the majority of the half with neat passing and fluid movement, but were unable to test David de Gea in the United goal.
Young – who had been quiet in the first half – went close to equalising for the visitors just after the break with the visitors’ best sight of goal.
Liverpool failed to clear a corner but Young’s half-volley struck Glen Johnson and deflected away.
The rivalry between the two sides began to intensify as the game reached the hour mark, referee Andre Marriner issuing five yellow cards – four of them to United players.
United substitute Nani stung the palms of Mignolet minutes after coming on but the hosts were able to keep their opponents at bay.
Van Persie fired wide following a Javier Hernandez through-ball and a fine De Gea save also denied Raheem Sterling in stoppage time as Liverpool clung on to record the victory.
Liverpool's victory, however, was tempered by the departure of Johnson late in the game through injury. Watching England manager Roy Hodgson will have been particularly concerned given Phil Jones also limped out in the second half.
|Coach: B. Rodgers|
for Iago Aspas 60'
for G. Johnson 78'
for Philippe Coutinho 83'
|Emery wants new striker at PSG|
|Santos accept Juventus bid for Gabriel|
|Eriksson expects Sweden to try and tempt Ibrahimovic out of retirement|
|Spurs signing Janssen almost quit|
|Leicester stay best for Mahrez - Ranieri|
|Allardyce to take Mourinho cue on Rooney|
|Ings ready to outdo big-money signings|
|Henderson optimistic over Liverpool campaign|
|Allardyce hardened to the challenge of England post|
|Barcelona announce record revenues for 2015-16|
|Moyes enjoys Sunderland win as Palace beat Colchester|
|Stoke complete Allen signing|
|Roma coach Spalletti warns suitors off Manolas|
|Cresswell out for up to four months with knee injury|
|Burnley fan banned by club for racist abuse|
|Dad won´t let me play at the Olympics - Larsson Sr pulls rank|
|Kostic joins Hamburg on five-year deal|
|Tevez: I´d turn down Chelsea and Napoli to stay at Boca|
|Mayoral inspired by Benzema for Wolfsburg stint|
|Allardyce straight into competitive action with England|
|Liverpool, Sevilla fined for Europa League final incidents|
|Barcelona seal Guillemenot signing as part of new Servette deal|
|Niersbach handed one-year ban over World Cup corruption|
|Chelsea and Everton ´still interested´ as Koulibaly eyes Napoli exit|
|´Still working hard´ - Balotelli trains with Liverpool kids|
|Winter breaks, long-ball football and the World Cup: Allardyce in his own words|
|Inter warn Napoli Icardi is not for sale|
|Zanetti wants Simeone back at Inter|
|Stoke snap up Sobhi|
|PSG tougher under Emery - Lucas Moura|
|Totti not ready for retirement - Pallotta|
|Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success|
|Pochettino to discard three Tottenham players|
|Allardyce: Rooney must wait for captaincy decision|
|Aubameyang: I will only leave Dortmund for Real Madrid|
|Allegri silences questions on Pogba|
|Bruce stands by decision to quit Hull City|
|Pochettino: Not the right time for Argentina job|
|Inter yet to approach De Boer with Mancini exit rumoured|
|Ancelotti trusts me more than Guardiola - Ribery|
|Wijnaldum rejected Everton for Klopp|
|Pre-season Manchester derby cancelled|
|Coutinho excited by ´fast´ Liverpool recruits|
|Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor step into the ring together|
|Mancini coy on reports linking Icardi to Napoli|
|Nolito reveals why he chose Man City over Barcelona|
|Inter 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Icardi absence in defeat fuels Napoli talk|
|MLS Review: Wright-Phillips double inspires Red Bulls to New York derby rout|
|James seeks more game time at Madrid|
|Rooney: I want to be a manager|
|Mignolet welcomes Karius challenge in Liverpool number one battle|
|Batshuayi buoyed by winning vibes at Chelsea|
|Moyes and Sunderland players diverted after plane fault|
|´Loved´ Varane targets long Madrid stay|
|Kostic set for Hamburg medical|
|Leicester crying over Kante sale - Ranieri|
|Schurrle the perfect Mkhitaryan replacement - Tuchel|
|West Ham face anxious wait on Cresswell injury|
|Mourinho will accept criticism from United legends|
|Bertolacci desperate for fresh start after underwhelming first season at Milan|
|Hoops hand Toure one-year deal|
|Origi ready to fight for Liverpool spot|
|Emery wants PSG stay for ´fantastic´ Matuidi|
|No Barcelona offer for Vietto - Cerezo|
|Burnley apologise for racist abuse from supporter|
|Guardiola will not rush Kompany comeback|
|Of course I´ll shake Guardiola´s hand, snaps riled Mourinho|
|Watzke: No more signings for Dortmund|
|Roma expect Manolas to snub Premier League move|
|Adriano set to leave Barcelona for Besiktas|
|Manchester United in worst possible situation - Mourinho|
|Sporting would have to sell stadium to afford Van Persie - Jesus|
|Jonas´ agent confirms Barcelona approach|
|No problem with Mourinho, insists Guardiola ahead of derby in China|
|Toronto´s hat-trick hero Giovinco: I´m back|
|Drogba revels in ´special night´, dedicates hat-trick to family|
|MLS Review: Hat-tricks for Drogba and Giovinco as stars shine|
|Whelan backs Liverpool for top-four finish|
|Pellegrini still waiting for right offer|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Vazquez|
|Phelan wants Hull job|
|Alaba saddened by Gotze exit|
|Morgan: Vardy right to re-sign|
|Maradona ´hurting´ as Higuain closes on Juventus move|