Liverpool vs. Manchester United score: Reds move back into first as Shaqiri plays the hero off the bench

Liverpool is back into first place in the Premier League after dominating rival Manchester United 3-1 on Sunday at Anfield. The match was level at halftime, but an inspired Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench and scored twice for the Reds, who continued their domination of the Red Devils and leaped over Manchester City back into the top spot. Here are three takeaways from the big game:

New boys step up big

Since his big money move from AS Monaco, Fabinho hasn't exactly caught fire at Liverpool. But the Brazilian has tremendous quality, and when it is matched with confidence, he can change a game in just a second. That's what he did in the first half as he assisted Sadio Mane's opener 24 minutes in.

Check out the composure to loft a ball over the backline and find Mane, who did the rest:

What a world-class ball.

And then it was Shaqiri's turn. The Swiss star, who got relegated last season with Stoke City, scored this winner with an attentive, yet fortunate finish:

A rare blunder from Alisson 

Liverpool is a different team this season, and Alisson in goal is why. He's been absolutely spectacular and saved the Reds in the Champions League midweek against Napoli.

So seeing him do this is concerning and reminds many of the issues Loris Karius had last season:

Now, all goalkeepers have blunders. The best of them do, but Liverpool fans will be reminded of the Champions League final last season when they see this again. Thankfully for them, this one wasn't nearly as costly. Having a couple in Premier League matches will be allowed as long as he doesn't have these in knockout-stage Champions League matches. 

Back in first and feeling good

Don't look now, but Liverpool is back in first place and playing with a ton on confidence. Whether this team can fend off Manchester City remains to be seen, but we could be in for a tight finish come spring. 

It's hard to believe, but Liverpool has never won the Premier League title. Could this be the year? The addition of Alisson has been massive for this team, and the attacking trio is still gelling at a high level. 

City, for now, is still the favorite, but the fact that Liverpool is undefeated in the league and improved at the back can't be ignored. This might just be the year. The Reds are back in Premier League action Friday against Wolverhampton on fuboTV (try for free).

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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