Giggs (right) converted an early penalty to give United the upper hand
By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport at Old Trafford
Steven Gerrard was sent off as Ryan Giggs's second-minute penalty proved enough to send Manchester United into the fourth round of the FA Cup, ruining Kenny Dalglish's emotional return as Liverpool manager.
The tie was barely 30 seconds old when Daniel Agger was adjudged to have fouled Dimitar Berbatov in the box and Giggs converted the spot-kick with ease.
Liverpool responded well, but their hopes of a comeback were hit hard when Gerrard was shown the red card for diving in rashly on Michael Carrick just after the half-hour mark.
Despite a spirited effort that offered encouragement to the 9,000 visiting fans, only a succession of fine saves by Pepe Reina kept the game alive until the end.
Roy Hodgson's departure on Saturday had offered Dalglish the opportunity to renew his old rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson and added extra spice to an already enticing encounter but, 20 years on from his last spell in charge of the Merseysiders, he could not inspire an instant improvement in their fortunes in his first game back in the dug-out.
Dalglish will have easier games in which to make his mark than this one between now and the end of the season.
However, his second stint as Liverpool manager got off to the worst possible start when Berbatov ambled into the box and went to ground near the right byeline after Agger clipped his ankle.
Referee Howard Webb thought long and hard before finally deciding it was a penalty and the veteran winger Giggs made no mistake, stepping up to slam the ball into the corner of the net.
Liverpool initially responded well, showing plenty of the heart they were purported to lack under Hodgson and fighting well to establish a platform in midfield through Lucas and Raul Meireles.
Although they were hardly piling on the pressure, the visitors tested the United defence too, with Rio Ferdinand having to show nifty footwork to clear from the edge of the six-yard box as Fernando Torres looked to pounce on Martin Kelly's low cross.
Maxi Rodriguez and Gerrard also both brought decent saves from Tomasz Kuszczak and - with United offering little at the other end - the game appeared to still be in the balance until Gerrard's moment of madness.
There was absolutely no need for the Reds skipper to dive in two-footed with studs showing, even if he did get far more of the ball than the man. Again Webb gave his decision some thought but, when it came, the red card he brandished was no surprise.
United, who had barely got out of second gear, were now in control of the game and almost extended their lead on the stroke of half-time when Jonny Evans ran in to meet a floated Giggs corner and power a header against the near post.
The home side continued to come forward with purpose at the start of the second half as Javier Hernandez flashed a header wide before Berbatov blasted over when Reina fumbled a Giggs cross.
Liverpool's 10 men continued to battle on and went close when Kuszczak had to dive acrobatically to keep out Fabio Aurelio's free-kick, which was heading for the top corner.
Gerrard is shown the red card for his challenge on Carrick
But, apart from an Agger header that was easily saved, Dalglish's side rarely threatened an equaliser while United were enjoying plenty of chances at the other end.
Reina made three excellent saves in quick succession from Rafael, Berbatov and Patrice Evra, with Giggs having a decent penalty shout turned down in between, while substitute Michael Owen - a former Anfield star - also spurned a couple of late opportunities as United ended up convincing winners.
Defeat means that only the Europa League offers Dalglish the chance to mark his second spell in charge at Anfield with a trophy but, to the Reds fans who chanted his name until long after the final whistle at Old Trafford, his presence means they can hope for a brighter future.
90:00+3:08 The referee brings the game to a close.
90:00+0:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Smalling on David Ngog. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
87:49 Oliveira Anderson takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Kelly. Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra produces a overhead
kick left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
86:17 Michael Owen has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.
83:51 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Fabio Aurelio, Daniel Agger concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Smalling.
Tomasz Kuszczak restarts play with the free kick.
83:14 A cross is delivered by Patrice Evra, Close range header by Dimitar Berbatov goes over the bar.
83:14 Substitution Chris Smalling comes on in place of Jonathan Evans.
80:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Owen on Leiva Lucas. Jonjo Shelvey has an effort direct from the free kick.
79:00 Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line, clearance made by David Ngog.
77:27 The ball is swung over by Martin Kelly, David Ngog has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the
76:57 Drilled right-footed shot by Dimitar Berbatov. Jose Reina makes a save.
76:21 Substitution David Ngog joins the action as a substitute, replacing Fernando Torres.
74:14 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Michael Owen coming on for Javier Hernandez.
71:38 Patrice Evra delivers the ball, Martin Skrtel gets a block in.
68:43 Rafael Da Silva takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save. Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save made by Jose Reina. Rafael Da Silva
takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina. Ryan Giggs takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Jose Reina. Corner taken left-footed
by Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
67:34 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina. Ryan Giggs takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Leiva Lucas.
65:09 The assistant referee signals for offside against Javier Hernandez. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.
63:32 Unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Oliveira Anderson results in a free kick. Fabio Aurelio has a direct shot on goal from
the free kick, save made by Tomasz Kuszczak. Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Fabio Aurelio, Jonathan Evans
manages to make a clearance.
63:32 Booking The referee shows Oliveira Anderson a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
61:59 Substitution Oliveira Anderson on for Darren Fletcher.
60:48 Shot by Ryan Babel. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak.
59:38 Substitution Jonjo Shelvey is brought on as a substitute for Raul Meireles.
59:26 Substitution Ryan Babel comes on in place of Rodriguez Maxi.
57:55 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Rio Ferdinand.
56:11 Rafael Da Silva produces a cross.
55:08 Shot from deep inside the area by Dimitar Berbatov goes over the bar.
54:23 The referee blows for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Martin Skrtel restarts play with the free kick.
53:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Martin Kelly. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
50:19 Shot from 35 yards by Raul Meireles went harmlessly over the target.
49:15 The ball is crossed by Javier Hernandez, Jose Reina makes a save.
47:21 A cross is delivered by Darren Fletcher, Header from close in by Javier Hernandez misses to the left of the goal.
46:49 Unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Darren Fletcher takes the free kick.
46:31 Michael Carrick takes a shot. Martin Skrtel gets a block in.
46:03 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani, Daniel Agger makes a clearance.
45:17 Corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Daniel Agger.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:00+3:39 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+2:36 Ryan Giggs takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Header from inside the area by Jonathan Evans
strikes the post.
45:00+1:45 Martin Skrtel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dimitar Berbatov. Patrice Evra takes the direct free kick.
45:00+0:44 Leiva Lucas concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Nani. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
44:17 Luis Nani challenges Raul Meireles unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
43:38 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line.
Correction - 40:43 Effort on goal by Rodriguez Maxi from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
40:43 Effort from just outside the box by Rodriguez Maxi goes over the bar.
38:27 Unfair challenge on Rodriguez Maxi by Rafael Da Silva results in a free kick. Daniel Agger restarts play with the free kick.
37:35 Dirk Kuyt has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area missing to the wide left of the goal.
37:18 Luis Nani takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
36:07 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fernando Torres by Rafael Da Silva. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Agger.
34:44 Luis Nani decides to take a short corner.
31:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Steven Gerrard. Free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.
31:50 Sent off Steven Gerrard receives a red card for serious foul play.
29:03 The assistant referee flags for offside against Fernando Torres. Rio Ferdinand takes the free kick.
28:46 Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Save by Tomasz Kuszczak.
28:06 Rio Ferdinand challenges Fernando Torres unfairly and gives away a free kick. Fabio Aurelio takes the free kick.
22:20 The offside flag is raised against Fernando Torres. Rio Ferdinand takes the indirect free kick.
20:27 Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs to the near post, clearance made by Steven Gerrard.
19:18 Shot by Steven Gerrard from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.
19:00 The ball is delivered by Martin Kelly, Jonathan Evans manages to make a clearance.
18:35 Shot by Rodriguez Maxi. Save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.
17:10 Steven Gerrard takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Dimitar Berbatov.
14:20 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line played to the near post, Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance.
13:56 Headed effort on goal by Fernando Torres from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
12:52 The official flags Javier Hernandez offside. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Reina.
8:40 Dirk Kuyt fouled by Darren Fletcher, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.
8:40 Booking Darren Fletcher receives a caution.
7:21 Fernando Torres fouled by Jonathan Evans, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard crosses the ball in from the free kick,
Darren Fletcher manages to make a clearance.
6:10 Steven Gerrard fouled by Michael Carrick, the ref awards a free kick. Leiva Lucas restarts play with the free kick.
3:11 Fernando Torres produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
2:42 Dirk Kuyt concedes a free kick for a foul on Dimitar Berbatov. Patrice Evra takes the free kick.
1:33 Penalty awarded for a foul by Daniel Agger on Dimitar Berbatov. Dimitar Berbatov provided the assist for the goal.
1:33 GOAL - Ryan Giggs:Man Utd 1 - 0 Liverpool Ryan Giggs scores a penalty. Man Utd 1-0 Liverpool.
0:00 The referee gets the game started.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.