Manchester United held on for a 2-1 victory against Liverpool to complete their first Premier League double over the Merseysiders in five years and move 10 points clear of Manchester City.

Robin van Persie gave United the lead on 20 minutes after a composed finish from Patrice Evra's cross, and was later denied a second when Martin Skrtel cleared his flick off the line as Liverpool looked overawed by their hosts.

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  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (left) battle for the ball

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (left) battle for the ball

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (right) and Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (left) battle for the ball

  • Santanu Pal hands out leaflets to help find his missing son

    Santanu Pal, father of missing Indian student Souvik Pal, hands out leaflets to fans making their way to the football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at United's Old Trafford stadium, Manchester.

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (centre) celebrates scoring his teams first goal of the game with teammates Patrice Evra (left) and Tom Cleverley (right)

  • Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, left, fights for the ball against Liverpool's Andre Wisdom during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    England manager Roy Hodgson in the stands before kick-off

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho in the stands before kick-off

  • BRITAIN-INDIA-MISSING

    Santanu Pal, father of Souvik Pal, distributes leaflets appealing for information regarding the wherabouts of his son ahead of the Manchester United versus Liverpool football match in Manchester, north-west England on January 13, 2013. Pal, an 18-year-old studying at Manchester Metropolitan University in northwest England, has been missing since celebrating New Year's Eve with friends at a nightclub in the city. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-LIVERPOOL

    Manchester United's Brazilian defender Rafael (R) is challenged by Liverpool's English midfielder Raheem Sterling during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications == (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Martin Skrtel of Liverpool competes with Danny Welbeck of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-LIVERPOOL

    Manchester United's Dutch forward Robin van Persie (L) and Liverpool's Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel (R) compete during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications == (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Robin van Persie of Manchester United competes with Joe Allen of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-LIVERPOOL

    Liverpool's Slovakian defender Martin Skrtel (L) jumps to head the ball as Manchester United's English forward Danny Welbeck challenges him during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications == (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Tom Cleverley of Manchester United competes with Joe Allen of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-LIVERPOOL

    Liverpool's English midfielder Steven Gerrard (2L) blocks a shot from Manchester United's Dutch forward Robin van Persie (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications == (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-LIVERPOOL

    Manchester United's Dutch forward Robin van Persie (L) scores the first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications == (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) takes a tumble after being tackled by Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (left)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (centre) battles for the ball with Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) as teammate Andre Wisdom (left) looks on

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    A flare is let off by the away fans at Old Trafford

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool's Lucas (right) and Manchester United's Ashley Young (left) battle for the ball

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Patrice Evra (front) celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game with teammate Rio Ferdinand (rear)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Patrice Evra (centre) celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game with teammate Rio Ferdinand (left) and Danny Welbeck (right)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina receives treatment on the pitch after a collision with Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa (not in picture)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (left) has a shot on target past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina (right)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Patrice Evra (left) celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game with teammates Danny Welbeck (centre) and Michael Carrick (right)

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (right) and Manchester United's Danny Welbeck (left) battle for the ball

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina (right) lies injured as teammate Martin Skrtel (left) assists him

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool's Leiva Lucas (left) and Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa (right) battle for the ball

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (left) battle for the ball

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (left) battle for the ball

  • Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

    Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina receives treatment on the pitch after a collision with Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa (not in picture)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • Manchester United's Robin van Persie celebrates after scoring against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Brendan Rodgers introduced Daniel Sturridge for his league debut but United doubled their lead shortly after the pause as Patrice Evra met Van Persie's free-kick, which ricocheted off Nemanja Vidić for his first goal in nearly two years.

Sturridge galvanised Liverpool however when he pounced to reduce United's lead after David de Gea had feebly parried Steven Gerrard's shot soon after Vidić's goal.

The lively Sturridge wasted a good chance to equalise as United scruffily to defend their lead, but eventually prevailed to take six points off their East Lancs nemesis.