Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has alluded to the fact that his side were anticipating more from Manchester United tactically in their 3-1 victory at Anfield.
Jose Mourinho started with a back five that attempted to contain the Reds from the off, but they were not to be perturbed, earning the lead in the 24th minute in a first half-hour that was filled with blistering football.
Though they surrendered it just nine minutes later against the run of play following an Alisson error, Jurgen Klopp's side emerged as comfortable winners with a second half brace from substitute Xherdan Shaqiri.
Van Dijk proclaimed, as quoted by The Telegraph: “We dominated the game and we deserved it.
"We were expecting something else (tactically) from them. We were prepared and we knew about their strengths. We were ready for the fight."
The opening exchanges were exemplary on Liverpool's part, with Klopp placing them among the best he has seen since his arrival in October 2015, a sentiment with which the Dutchman agreed with.
The centre back admitted: “A brilliant start. It was one of the best performances we have had since I was at Liverpool. First half-hour was outstanding. How we played was just perfect. Over the moon about the performance."
Speaking in a more tactical vein, the 27-year-old declared: "The way the boys played was outstanding. We saw the line up of United and their quality - how organised they were and they fight from the back.
"The plan was to be brave and chip the ball behind the lines. The first goal was how, if you could have drawn, it would have been the goal. It's so deserved. Top, top first class team.”
Next up for Van Dijk and co is a Friday night trip to Molineux for a clash with Wolves in the Premier League, before they host Newcastle on Boxing Day.