But Jurgen Klopp's Reds almost left Old Trafford empty-handed. Substitute Adam Lallana ghosted in at the back post in the 85th minute for an easy tap-in for the visitors, canceling out Marcus Rashford's opener and dulling a much-improved performance from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
The northwest rivalry wasn't without controversy as VAR delayed the match twice during the first half. Victor Lindelof's tackle on Divock Origi before Rashford's goal was eventually confirmed after a review. Then, when Sadio Mane netted in the 44th minute, slow-motion replays showed there was a handball when the Liverpool attacker tamed Trent Alexander-Arnold's long ball.
Liverpool's lead at the top of the table is now down to six points following Manchester City's 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Manchester United, meanwhile, are writhing in 13th place and have already dropped eight points from winning positions in this campaign.
There was plenty of coverage about Manchester United's injury list prior to the match, but Solskjaer was able to field David De Gea despite the goalkeeper picking up a muscle concern on Spain duty. As expected, Paul Pogba missed the affair with a nagging ankle issue and Anthony Martial could only appear as a substitute.
Liverpool had the most noteworthy absentee, though. Mohamed Salah was unavailable after suffering a twisted ankle in the team's previous outing against Leicester City, so he was replaced by Origi. Alisson returned to duties between the sticks following two-and-a-half months out with a calf injury.
Manchester United played brightly in the first half, winning second balls and playing with ambition against a surprisingly average Liverpool side. Daniel James unleashed an impeccable delivery to find Rashford for the first goal of the match, and it was a deserved lead for United.
The Red Devils' fragility became increasingly evident in the second half and their defending turned more desperate. Lallana breached the hosts with five minutes of normal time remaining; if Liverpool had equalized earlier, they would have been confident to take all three points from Stretford.
Yet, because the goal came so late, the Manchester United players were the most despondent after the final whistle.
"It's huge. We have come to Old Trafford and got a point," Lallana told Sky Sports after the match. "We would probably have taken that at the beginning of the season and we are still unbeaten. There are huge positives to take considering we weren't at our best today."