Liverpool 3-1 Man United - Dirk Kuyt Hat Trick

King Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson

"I think Manchester United are the benchmark for everybody. They are top of the league so, yes, they are still the benchmark. Everybody would want to be in the position Manchester United are in," said Liverpool's caretaker manager King Kenny Dalglish.

"The closer you get to the top the more difficult it is to close the gap. Going from 20th to sixth is not as difficult as sixth to first. The higher we go the more difficult the step up is but the owners are determined to move the club forward within reason and they'll do their best to provide the funds."

Manchester United reacted to their 3-1 defeat at Liverpool by imposing a media blackout, with Sir Alex Ferguson refusing to comment about the match.

Dirk Kuyt Celebrates After Hat-Trick For Liverpool

Dutchman Dirk Kuyt became only the third player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League against Manchester United.

Luis Suárez, Liverpool's recent £22.8m purchase from Ajax played superbly. "They were all outstanding in different ways," said King Kenny Dalglish, who gave the club's recent £35m record signing Andy Carroll his first Liverpool appearance, as a late substitute.

"Dirk got three goals and he will get the headlines and Luis played fantastically well but the rest of them were not too far behind.

"The way they went about their job, their attitude, their commitment, their desire to get a result, the pride they showed in playing for the football club and the pride they showed in their own performances: that is the reason why they got the result. Without everyone giving everything they have got you don't beat Manchester United – and they did that."

The Kop were in full-voice today as Liverpool soundly defeated top tier Manchester United under the helm of King Kenny Dalglish. 

Manchester United managed a goal in stoppage time, when substitute Javier Hernández headed home a Ryan Giggs cross. Otherwise, the match was Liverpool's from the start.

Ferguson's men have now been defeated for a third consecutive time at Ansfield.

Liverpool's new star striker, £35m Andy Carroll, whose thigh injury had delayed his debut, was sent in as a substitute in the second half.

United have a need to regroup after loosing six points in six days. However they remain on top of the Premiership due to Arsenal's tie with Sunderland. 

Arsenal suffered a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland on Saturday and are only three points behind Man United with a game in hand.

The match contained some ugly incidents.

Referee Phil Dowd should have sent off Liverpool's Jamie Carragher following a foul that sent an angry Nani out of the game in pain on a stretcher, as well as Rafael da Silva for a two-footed lunge that left Lucas unscathed.

Liverpool secured two goals by the 39th minute. Luis Suárez dribbled past Rafael, Michael Carrick and Wes Brown before tapping the ball through the legs of Edwin van der Sar, with Kuyt knocking it home, then headed in a second goal. Liverpool stayed on the attack and Kuyt had his third goal after 65 minutes.

Manchester United tickets are for sale now online:

FA Cup: Manchester United v Arsenal Tickets 12 Mar 2011 15:00 Old Trafford
Manchester, United Kingdom
Champions League: Manchester United v Olympique Marseille Tickets 15 Mar 2011 19:45 Old Trafford
Manchester, United Kingdom
English Premiership: Manchester United v Bolton Wanderers Tickets 19 Mar 2011 15:00 Old Trafford
Manchester, United Kingdom

Liverpool tickets are for sale now online:

Europa League: SC Braga v Liverpool Tickets 10 Mar 2011 0:00 Braga Municipal Stadium
Braga, Portugal
Europa League: Liverpool v SC Braga Tickets 17 Mar 2011 0:00 Anfield Road
Liverpool, United Kingdom
English Premiership: Sunderland v Liverpool Tickets 20 Mar 2011 13:30 Stadium of Light
Sunderland, United Kingdom