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Rashford shines as Manchester United beat Liverpool without Pogba

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford scores his second goal against Liverpool REUTERS/Andrew Yates

A brace from Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford sealed victory against Liverpool in one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the English Premiership.

The win puts United five points clear of Liverpool behind Manchester City at the top of the table.

An early goal for Rashford in the 14th minute set the tone for a match which was largely dominated by United's strong defence at home at Old Trafford.

A long pass from Romelu Lukaku saw Rashford break away on the left wing, barge past a dazed Trent Alexander-Arnold and curl a low powerful shot into the bottom right past Liverpool keeper Loris Karius.

Rasford's second, was an almost picture-perfect copy of his first, starting with the goal kick from David de Gea, to Lukaku then Rashford.

Glimmer of hope for Liverpool

The visitors dominated after the break but could only find a response via a United player when Eric Bailly turned into his own net 24 minutes from time.

The mistake gave Liverpool, which was just one goal behind, a glimmer of hope, but it wasn’t to be.

Liverpool enjoyed almost complete control of the ball in the second half but failed to find a way through the mass ranks of United defense.

United boss Jose Mourinho then drew the ire of his own fans as he replaced Rashford with Marouane Felliani 20 minutes from time to see the game out.

No Pogba

Midfielder Paul Pogba was ruled out after that he gashed his leg in training on the eve of the game.

Mourinho said it was an “unlucky situation” but refused to say whether the French international would be fit to return for Tuesday's Champions League last 16 clash against Sevilla.