Houllier delighted with performance
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier was delighted with his side's gritty performance in the 1-0 win at Manchester United.
Danny Murphy's penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides as he grabbed the winner for the third time in just four seasons.
"I think it was a tremendous performance," said a delighted Houllier. "I think it was a controlled performance.
"When you play at old Trafford you need discipline and energy and teamwork. You also need a bit of luck and we had that at the end.
"We had a bit of luck when they hit the post. But I think we worked hard and we deserved it.
"I told them at half time that I had seen better Man Utd sides before, and it can happen sometimes."
Missed penalties have cost The Reds dear this term, but Murphy showed no nerves and dispatched the spot kick with commendable coolness under the circumstances.
"It was a clear penalty, and credit to Danny he took it well," added Houllier.
"He knows the importance of that penalty, normally when he plays he takes the penalties.
"He was always in my plans for the game as he is very tactically astute, and I thought he was excellent.
"I said to the boys that this is the right place to win and to show your link with the club."
Penalty hero Danny Murphy was also in buoyant mood after grabbing his now customary winner at Old Trafford - a lucky ground for him.
"I've always taken penalties when I'm playing," said Murphy. "It started when Michael Owen wasn't playing and touch wood I've never missed.
"I don't know why it's a good ground for me.
"I made my England debut here and played one of my first games for Liverpool here so it's a happy hunting ground for me.
"I know what it's like as I've come here as a fan and its great for the fans as they've not had a lot to shout about this year as we all know.
"I think generally we deserved it because it was a hard fought performance with some good football in there as well.
"We're well aware of the upset and disappointment because it hurts us to. The fans are entitled to that and we've got to put it right.
"We're getting a lot of money to do a job and we need to do it better."