Van Persie in a class of his own as Man Utd beat Liverpool
Danny Welbeck hailed Manchester United strike partner Robin van Persie as "different class" after the Dutchman helped the Red Devils defeat old rivals Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford.
In a match billed as a showdown between the Premier League's top marksmen, Van Persie and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, the former Arsenal man came out on top after scoring the opener and then setting up United's second.
He put United ahead with a clinical 19th-minute finish for his 10th goal in his past 10 games before turning provider when his curling free-kick was turned in via a combination of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic just after half-time.
Liverpool pulled a goal back almost immediately when substitute Daniel Sturridge slotted home but, despite an improved showing from the visitors, they could not find an equaliser as United provisionally moved 10 points clear at the Premier League summit.
Welbeck, who was also outstanding in the win, hailed his side's performance, and especially that of Van Persie. He said: "Robin's different class, he produces moments in the game that others can't do. We're glad to have him on our side.
"It was a great team performance all round. We had our game plan set up and I think it worked quite well in the first half. In the second half they got into it at the back end of the game.
"It was a great team performance, we dug in pretty well and our character showed through at the end."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side could have done better with the goals they conceded, but took the positives from an improved second half display and praised the performance of new signing Daniel Sturridge.
The recent arrival from Chelsea had been hailed in midweek by former Blues sporting director Frank Arnesen has having "everything" in his game to be a world beater, and Rodgers was impressed with what he saw.
"I thought he was a real threat when he came on. He's an outstanding young player who just needed an opportunity. He's now got two goals in two games and he'll score many goals for Liverpool for sure," said Rodgers.
Read Frank Arnesen's views on Rodgers and Sturridge whom he both worked with at Chelsea. Why he helped the Liverpool boss with his footballing philosophy and why Sturridge can only stop himself becoming a Kop legend.