Javier Hernandez scored a late header to rescue a point for United at Anfield, as the defending champions extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard opened the scoring in the 68th minute when his low free-kick found a way through the United wall.

However, substitute Hernandez levelled for United in the 81st minute after a well-worked corner found the Mexico striker four yards out.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish handed Gerrard his first start after six months out with a groin injury but their talismanic captain could do little to influence a flat first half.

Luis Suarez forced a smart save from goalkeeper David De Gea late in the first half, as both sides struggled to create chances.

Sir Alex Ferguson left Wayne Rooney, Luis Nani and Hernandez on the bench as Danny Welbeck led the United forward line. However, the visiting side failed to test Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal as the first 45 minutes ended in a stalemate.

The second half saw both sides rejuvenated and it was Liverpool who seized the initiative in the 68th minute. Rio Ferdinand's foul on Charlie Adam brought a freekick 25 yards from goal and Gerrard stepped up to sweep a low shot past De Gea.

Ferguson brought on Rooney, Nani and Hernandez as United pushed for an equaliser and it arrived in the 81st minute.

A United corner was flicked on by Welbeck and Hernandez found half a yard on a flat Liverpool defence to head home from four yards.