Premier League: Roberto Firmino double sees Liverpool ease past Man Utd

Roberto Firmino has scored twice to boost Liverpool's hopes of a late push into the top four with a 4-2 Premier League win at Manchester United on Friday (NZ time).

The fixture, re-arranged after fan protests 10 days ago led to the match being postponed, took place after a massive security operation foiled another attempt at disruption from protesters.

After spending seven hours inside the ground having arrived early to avoid attempts to block their bus, United took a 10th-minute lead, when Bruno Fernandes' shot was deflected past Alisson Becker by the outstretched leg of Nathaniel Phillips.

In the 34th minute, Liverpool drew level, when Diogo Jota flicked in a low shot from Phillips, before taking the lead on the stroke of halftime thanks to Firmino's back-post header.

The Brazilian extended the visitor's lead two minutes after the interval, when sloppy play from United led to Firmino slotting home his second goal.

Marcus Rashford pulled one back for United, with a confident finish after a smart exchange with Edinson Cavani.

But as the home side pushed forward in search of a leveller, Mohamed Salah wrapped up a positive night for the Merseysiders with a fine finish on the break.

Liverpool moved above West Ham United into fifth place on 60 points. Juergen Klopp's side are four points behind Chelsea, who occupy the fourth Champions League slot but have a game in hand on the London team.

United stayed second in the table, 10 points behind champions Manchester City. 

Earlier, Everton's faint hopes of a top-four finish were all but extinguished, after their goalless draw with Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Villa defender Tyrone Mings headed the home side's best chance wide from Douglas Luiz's cross, when he should have at least tested Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.

After an uninspiring first half, Carlo Ancelotti's Everton improved after the break with Ben Godfrey drawing a save from Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez.

But Everton failed to create any clear chances late in the game and the result left the Merseyside club eighth in the table, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.