United beats Liverpool 1-0 to spark talk of title challenge

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Manchester United relied on brilliant goalkeeping by David de Gea and an opportunistic finish by Wayne Rooney to snatch a 1-0 win at great rival Liverpool on Sunday, sparking talk of an unlikely run at the Premier League title.

With Arsenal only drawing 0-0 at Stoke a few hours later to return to first place, United trimmed the gap to the leaders to seven points — with 16 matches still to play in one of the most erratic title races in years.

Talk of United even challenging for the title would been dismissed as fanciful at the end of 2015, when the team was on an eight-game winless run and manager Louis van Gaal's future looked precarious.

Things look very different now.

Van Gaal says "when the gap is like this, seven points, you can overcome that."