Boss delighted with win
Sir Alex Ferguson was suitably satisified with a draining victory against Liverpool and felt United defended stoutly to clinch the three points.
The Reds were forced to hang on in the closing stages, despite taking a two-goal advantage through Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic. But Daniel Sturridge pulled one back to spark a late revival by the visitors.
“All in all, it was an engrossing game, as we expected in a Manchester United-Liverpool match,” he told MUTV. “It’s full of emotion, intensity and it’s great to win. It was a magnificent performance in the first half, as well as we’ve played for a long time. It was hard work after they scored, to be honest with you, and I’m just glad we won the match.
“I think winning is important – it doesn’t matter what league position we are in. I’ve said many times, it’s a fantastic challenge between the two most successful teams in the country. I think those three points today are very, very important ones.”
The manager felt Shinji Kagawa deserved a penalty when he appeared to be pushed into Pepe Reina during a scramble just before half time and paid tribute to Danny Welbeck for a tireless display.
“[The first goal] was a great build-up, terrific football, and a great finish by Robin but we should have been three or four up,” added the boss. “I thought we should have had a penalty when Shinji was brought down.
“Danny was fantastic. I thought he gave them a real hard day of it, the two centre-backs. He and Robin, particularly in the first half, gave them a very difficult time. The reason Danny played was because we wanted someone who would drop on top of their centre-midfield player. He did that well and put in a great shift. He ran his legs off today and deserved the Man of the Match award.”
After revealing that Patrice Evra is not happy the second goal is likely to be credited to Nemanja Vidic, Sir Alex admitted he was disappointed to concede so soon afterwards, although he was impressed by the defending that followed.
“I’ve not seen their goal again,” he admitted. “But, to me, it looked a bit soft for us. Once again, the goalie has parried one out and there’s nobody following in on the rebound.
“It did lift Liverpool but some of our defending was a bit erratic and desperate at times. But we managed to get through it. There was a period of three or four minutes where they were shoving players into the box and some interchange between players that we had to defend very well.
“We got through that and the name of the game in the big matches are the moments where you have to defend. Today was one of them.”