Liverpool even have a sport in hand to come back on closest challengers Manchester Metropolis and will have been extra snug winners after seeing two first half objectives dominated out and a number of clear probabilities go astray.
United are the one staff to take Premier League factors off the European champions this season, nevertheless it not often appeared like lightning would strike twice as soon as the hosts went in entrance on 14 minutes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sport plan was undone by a easy set-piece as Van Dijk rose highest to energy house Trent Alexander-Arnold’s nook.
The Norwegian had arrange with a again 5, with Luke Shaw pressured to deputise out of place as a 3rd centre-back, and solely an incredible problem from the previous Southampton left-back denied Sadio Mane a sure second as he burst onto Roberto Firmino’s cross.
Jurgen Klopp’s males did have the ball within the internet twice extra earlier than the break, however VAR and the offside flag got here to United’s rescue to maintain the rating down.
Firstly, Firmino’s sensible strike was dominated out as Van Dijk was penalised for an aerial problem with David de Gea after a VAR overview.
Georginio Wijnaldum then slotted previous the Spaniard after an excellent by ball from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, however the Dutchman had strayed marginally offside.
Shorn of injured high scorer Marcus Rashford, United did not even muster a shot in anger for the primary 40 minutes till Anthony Martial pulled his effort vast of the close to put up.
Nonetheless, they may simply have been stage in opposition to the run of play moments later when Andreas Pereira couldn’t stretch to show house Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s ball throughout the face of the objective.
On the different finish, De Gea had another key intervention earlier than the break as he saved together with his toes from Mane’s pushed effort.
United rode their luck much more in the beginning of the second half as Salah by some means skewed vast from point-blank vary earlier than Jordan Henderson smashed a shot off the put up.
However Liverpool’s failure to place the sport to mattress might have price them when Martial blazed over United’s greatest probability of the sport after a well-worked one-two with Pereira simply earlier than the hour mark.
Similar to within the 1-Zero win at Tottenham final weekend Liverpool drained within the last 20 minutes, with Klopp pressured to withdraw Mane and Firmino to bolster the midfield.
Nonetheless, the hosts held out for a seventh consecutive clear sheet in all competitions and took one other big step in direction of the title as Salah secured the three factors with nearly the final kick of the sport.
The Egyptian was picked out by goalkeeper Alisson Becker and ran from inside his personal half earlier than slotting beneath De Gea.