Display disappoints Fergie
United boss left unimpressed with his side's showing at Anfield
Last Updated: September 23, 2012 8:39pm
Sir Alex Ferguson admits he was pleased with the result but not the performance after Manchester United slipped past 10-man Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield.
The Reds took the lead through captain Steven Gerrard just after the break despite being reduced to 10 men late in the first half when Jonjo Shelvey saw red for a challenge on Jonny Evans.
United defender Rafael pulled one back for United five minutes later before Robin van Persie fired home a late penalty to seal the win.
Ferguson was unimpressed with his side's display after the Reds ran riot in the first half but took comfort from the three points, which left United second in the Premier League.
He told Sky Sports: "It's a great result for us but we didn't play well. In the first half Liverpool dominated us. I was disappointed in our performance to be honest with you.
"Second half, we had better possession but they've got 10 men, so we can't take any great credit for that.
"But a win's a win. We're pleased with the result but not the performance."
Asked what he had said to his players at half-time, Ferguson refused to expand on any 'hairdrier treatment', replying: "You wouldn't want to know. I was disappointed."
The match was a significant encounter for Liverpool as it marked their first home match since the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report which exonerated fans in relation to the 1989 disaster.
But Ferguson insists it was not the occasion that got to his side, adding: "It shouldn't really have affected us.
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"If you look at the last three or four years here we've been exactly like that, disappointing. We expect better of them."
Shelvey's red card is likely to divide opinion, with Evans also appearing to take his feet off the ground as the two players collided, but Ferguson believes referee Mark Halsey was left with little option.
"I thought it was a clear red card," he added. "Jonny Evans went for the ball, got the ball and the boy has gone in really dangerously.
"I don't think there was any other decision the referee could have given."
He added of Evans: "He went for the ball, he got the ball. That's the important thing. Their boy didn't even attempt to go for the ball."
Shelvey had some angry words for Ferguson as he left the pitch and headed down the tunnel.
"He was trying to blame me I suppose," said the manager.
"He can apologise if he likes. He should do that, he's responsible for his own actions, there's no question about that."
United's penalty came after Antonio Valencia went down in the box following a Glen Johnson tackle and Ferguson added: "I haven't seen it. I couldn't see.
"Certainly he was in a shooting position. I thought it he should have squared it to Robin van Persie or Ryan Giggs but he took the decision to shoot himself and he was probably brought down. I'm not sure."