Giggs - We found it tough

Midfielder acknowledges good performance from hosts

Ryan Giggs: Admits United have played better at Anfield

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Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs admits his side were below their best against Liverpool despite coming out on top at Anfield.

Sunday's game was Liverpool's first at home since the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report, which exonerated fans in relation to the 1989 disaster.

The hosts played 51 minutes with 10 men after Jonjo Shelvey's sending-off but still managed to take the lead through Steven Gerrard's volley seconds after the interval.

However, Rafael equalised for United soon after while Robin van Persie ensured it was Sir Alex Ferguson's men leaving with all three points when he slotted away a late penalty after Glen Johnson had brought down Antonio Valencia.

Midfielder Giggs, however, felt the visitors were far from their best.

"Over the last three or four years we've come here and played a lot better and not got anything - that's how it goes sometimes," Giggs told Sky Sports.

"It's always tough against a team like Liverpool who keep the ball well.

"Even if they go down to 10 men they don't change, they keep the ball, and that's always tough."

Belief

Giggs admitted, however, that it was his side's equaliser rather than Shelvey's dismissal that finally injected some belief into the United players.

"The crowd got up and we didn't play well, we didn't keep the ball well enough, so it was great to see Rafa's goal go in - that probably lifted us," he said.

Giggs and Gerrard released 96 red balloons in memory of the Hillsborough victims before the match as part of a number of tributes, but the former Wales international did not feel the emotion of the occasion got to his team-mates.

"No, I don't think so," he said.

"It's just a tough place to come and Liverpool obviously wanted to put on a performance because of the occasion, and they did that."