1 Swaggering Liverpool walk their talk

Eleven minutes into the second half, with the visitors leading after two Steven Gerrard penalties, their manager was regaled with "There's only one Brendan Rodgers".

At this moment the Northern Irishman's words in the build-up to the 190th encounter between the clubs felt sagacious, not hubristic. Then, Rodgers had warned Manchester United would struggle to attract top-line players if they failed to qualify for the Champions League this season, as Liverpool have since 2009-10.

For Moyes, his own pre-game offering was left sounding hollow. "From what I see every day positivity is growing around the AON Training Complex. What goes on there is completely different to what people perceive the situation to be at Manchester United."

2 Robin van Persie goes missing again

After last week's interview in which the Dutchman gave assurances he would be at United next season and wanted to stay beyond his current contract, Van Persie turned in another unconvincing display to follow that at West Bromwich Albion last week.

As then, Moyes must have been tempted to replace him with Danny Welbeck, but when he finally decided to change things on 75 minutes it was Adnan Januzaj who was hooked for the England striker.

Before kick-off Van Persie said: "My target now is to get stronger, better and more productive each game. Most importantly, I want to help the team win games as that's what this club is all about."

With nine games remaining, time is ticking on this ambition.

3 Liverpool's three amigos shine

Luis Suárez, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge are players who illustrate the gulf in pace, intelligence and quality between Liverpool and United.

This campaign's headline story at Anfield has been how Sturridge has finally turned potential into consistent contribution. Yet less heralded but as exciting for Liverpool fans has been the re-emergence of Sterling on an upward trajectory that, at 19, had him trusted by Rodgers with the No10 berth for English football's most seismic encounter.

This was further evidence of how Liverpool have become English football's must-see act due to the fluidity allowed the manager by this trio, with the move that led to Liverpool's opening penalty showcasing this: Sterling passed to Sturridge whose cross was collected by Suárez before Rafael da Silva handballed.

4 Moyes has to get transfers right this summer

On show were Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, two players recruited by the manager for £64.1m who, not for the first time this season (and probably not the last), wandered around like two kids in a game played by adults. Most of the latter were on the Liverpool side so the Belgian and Spaniard can hardly carry the can for another toothless United display. But their disappointing contribution illuminated how poor Moyes's recruitment has been and how, if he wishes to keep his job, he dare not make a mess of his buying in the close season.

Both Fellaini and Mata look like what the advance notices said they would be: square pegs in a round hole and the sight of Fellaini being replaced in the second half was no surprise.

5 The curious case of the United high ball

Missing In Action: the midfield of the 20-times champions. Last definite sighting – last season as United romped to the title by 11 points. As the contest developed and Liverpool dazzled United with their ever-morphing pass-and-move, the eye searched for any sign of encouragement for the David Moyes project. Yet all that was seen consistently were high balls punted in hope rather than conviction.

What the watching Diego Maradona thought of the route-one stuff would be fascinating. More pertinent to United's cause is what Moyes's thinking is with this tactic. On Friday he said: "Overall, we won't change the traditions, the style, what's expected here at Manchester United. We'll try and follow all of them through." This display belied the claim.