LONDON, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Manchester United staged a strong comeback to beat Liverpool 2-1 on an emotional Sunday afternoon when the long-time rivals stood together to pay tribute to the Hillsborough victims and families before the kick-off.
The host was reduced to 10 men when Jonjo Shelvey was sent off due to a foul on United's defender Jonny Evans in the first half of the English Premier League match.
But it did not stop Liverpool from showing dominance at Anfield when captain Steven Gerrard delivered a volley to shatter the deadlock just one minute after the restart, sending the full-capacity crowd of more than 40,000 fans ecstatic.
United, pushed back for long periods, fought their way back five minutes later when defender Rafael Da Silva made an equalizer inside the area. Robin van Persie ensured the visitor a fourth straight league win with nine minutes left when he capitalized on the penalty after Antonio Valencia was fouled in the box.
The victory moved United to the second place of the standings in 12 points. Chelsea, who beat Stoke 1-0 on Saturday, led the table in 13 points after five-round campaigns.
Liverpool, still failed to win a match under the new manager Brendan Rodgers, slipped to the relegation zones with only two points.
Though the defeat was bitter, the Reds moved the League with emotional highlights in the pre-match ceremony.
It was the first home fixture for Liverpool since an independent panel ten days ago revealed the findings of the disaster at the 1989 FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. 96 Liverpool fans died in that disaster after they were crushed in an over-crowded stadium. The panel cleared fans of blame in the report and disclosed that some of them could be brought back to life if the rescue was efficient and not affected by the lack of leadership and coordination.
Today, to pay tribute to the truth and victims, the team song "You will never walk alone" were echoed on and on in a full-attendance stadium where mosaic spelling out "96", "Truth" and "Justice" before the kick off. Gerrard and Ryan Giggs, the captains from each side, released 96 red balloons for memorizing those who died. ( "Our great club stands with our great neighbours Liverpool today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice," United manager Alex Ferguson wrote a public letter to remind visiting fans to respect the ceremony and the home side.
Sunday also witnessed another heavyweight clash between the defending champion Man City and Arsenal.
City, boosted by more than 40,000 fans at the Etihad Stadium, took the lead five minutes before the break when defender Joleon Lescott headed in a well-placed corner. Arsenal also found the net with the help by a defender. Laurent Koscielny thumped in a late equaliser from close range with eight minutes left to gift visitor a point.
Tottenham hotspur beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at home after Jermain Defoe seized the winner and the visitor's own goal cancelled out their opener. Besides, Demba Ba scored the only goal to lift Newcastle to a home victory over Norwich.