Steven Gerrard praised the raft of young stars who helped Liverpool achieve a stunning 3-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday - and spoke of his desire to guide them to success this season.

Gerrard, for his part, stood head and shoulders above the rest at Old Trafford, turning in a trademark captain's display, but afterwards he made every effort to step out of the limelight.

The 33-year-old was the best on the park for 86 minutes until his substitution. He was everywhere, shutting down moves, smothering danger and steadying the ship.

His two unerring penalties were crucial in putting the game beyond United, as was the way Gerrard took command of the play, raking cross-field passes or slipping the ball to feet.

Around him buzzed the likes of Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling; closing, harrying and pestering the opposition into submission - and it was for this that Gerrard reserved his post-match praise.

"They've done all my running for me, so long may that continue," the skipper told

"I think the key to this football club is to always have top players who are experienced and who have got the know-how to look after young players.

"I think the form of Sterling, Allen, Henderson, Flanagan, to name a few, has been excellent - and we've still got other youngsters who are just about to peak. We've got a fantastic mixture of age from young to old.

"I'm feeling the oldest in the group now. They keep me young and they keep me working hard. I'd love nothing better than to lead them to a successful season."

Gerrard held his nerve twice to beat David De Gea from 12 yards; however, he was denied a hat-trick of penalties by the woodwork when he stepped up to fire a third against the post.

Yet there was no need for panic within the Reds' ranks. Luis Suarez pounced on a loose ball inside the penalty area to fire calmly past the Spanish stopper and make it 3-0.

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Gerrard's goals in the game meant he became the highest-scoring opposition player at Old Trafford in Barclays Premier League history, on the day he rose to joint-sixth in Liverpool's all-time record appearance list, tied with Ian Rush on 660.

"I'm proud of every achievement and accolade that I get along the way, but what will make me more proud is if this team achieves something at the end of the season," insisted Gerrard.

"We need to keep our feet on the ground and stay focused. If we keep performing like we have today, there's no doubt about it that we're in a title race.

"I think coming into the game there was a lot of questions getting asked. Is this team good enough to challenge for the title? Are they going to be able to get over this hurdle of beating a good team away from home?

"I think we've passed that test with flying colours. We completely dominated the game from start to finish. There's one little tab of disappointment and it's that we didn't go on to win the game even more comfortably. We could maybe have had five or six goals here today."