1 Moyes' hoodoo continues

David Moyes left with his league record at Anfield still showing no win – and another loss – to follow 11 barren years when he was at Everton. Instead, it was who appeared in cruise control of a sharper, brighter, slicker side before the interval and ended with an invaluable victory as Brendan Rodgers oversaw a display that could mark his side's coming-of-age.

On an afternoon that had its spicy moments – such as when Tom Cleverley scythed down Philippe Coutinho, Michael Carrick shoved Iago Aspas and Robin van Persie was needled by Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel – the Northern Irishman can be delighted at how the league campaign now shows three wins.

2 Who needs Suárez?

Daniel Sturridge required less than five minutes to continue as the man asking this question the loudest. The striker with the early-season Midas touch was in the right place again to flick on Daniel Agger's header from a Steven Gerrard corner to make it five goals in four outings.

Luis Suárez finishes his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic when these two sides meet again in the League Cup this month, yet Sturridge can expect to keep his place as the leader of the Liverpool attack, with the Uruguayan playing behind. If these two can click, it could be a prosperous year.

3 Henderson is being schooled by Coutinho

In Liverpool's 4-2-3-1 Jordan Henderson, the £16m arrival of two seasons ago, lines up in the attacking trident and he credits Rodgers with his development into a player who finally looks the part in a red shirt.

He says: "I speak to Brendan a lot. He tells me what I need to improve and helps me to do so. I think tactically is the biggest area where I feel I have become better since Brendan came in. I spend a lot of time looking back over our games and feel I've added discipline and become more tactically aware."

Yet it is the boy from Brazil, two years his junior, who appears the on-field inspiration as Coutinho's willingness to make things happen was mirrored in Henderson's determination to get on the ball and drive at United. The midfielder collected possession near the centre circle and raced directly, removing Patrice Evra as a factor, before pinging over a cross that had United scrambling.

4 Fellaini, Herrera, De Rossi – where are you?

How Moyes must have wished even one of the above transfer targets was already on the bench as his team reached the latter stages still behind in a contest that was not a great advert for Cleverley and Carrick as a midfield duo.

When United were pinned back, particularly before the interval, Moyes could be seen shaking his head as his side ceded possession carelessly, as Cleverley did on 22 minutes, when playing a 50-yard Hollywood ball that failed. Later, Cleverley misplaced a sand-wedged pass that allowed the Reds to move downfield and win a free-kick Steven Gerrard should have troubled David de Gea with.

Moyes's sole central operator in reserve was Anderson, who is hardly a renowned game-changer. So the clock now ticks until 11pm on Monday for the Scot to bring in one or more of Fellaini, Herrera and De Rossi.

5) Are Liverpool and Gerrard really so far away from a first title since 1990?

Before kick-off, the home captain had said:

"I would like to win a Premier League title but at 33 I have to be realistic and say there might only be two or three years left. Realistically I'm quite a distance away from winning the league at the moment. I have to take that on the chin, but I'll never give up fighting for it. Getting back into the Champions League might be a more achievable target – but even that is going to be difficult."

Is this a seasoned professional's realistic view of a team in transition or an overly pessimistic analysis of a side who appear to be on a particularly rapid rise?