Statistics and post-match quotes from Sir Alex Ferguson, Brendan Rodgers, Robin van Persie, and Danny Welbeck on Manchester United's 2-1 defeat of rival Liverpool.
The Busby Babe
Shots (on target)
|15 (5)||13 (3)|
Total Passes Completed
MUFC PLAYER STATISTICS
* David de Gea (goalkeeper): 5/14 passing (36%), 1 goal conceded, 2 saves
* Rio Ferdinand (right-center-back): 28/31 passing (90%), 0 chances created, 5/8 long balls, 1 tackle, 1 interception,10 clearances (7 clearances), 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls
* Nemanja Vidic (left-center-back | substituted off 80'): 20/23 passing (87%), 0 chances created, 1/2 long balls, 5 tackles, 0 interceptions, 5 clearances (3 effective), 1 shots blocked, 1 foul, 1 goal
* Rafael (right-back): 25/33 passing (76%), 1 chance created, 0/1 crosses, 0/1 long balls, 2 successful dribbles, 1 foul won, 7 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 clearances (2 effective), 0 shots blocked, 1 foul
* Patrice Evra (left-back): 26/33 passing (79%), 2 chances created, 1/3 crosses, 0/2 long balls, 1 successful dribble, 1 foul won, 2 tackles, 1 interception, 3 clearances, (1 effective), 1 shot blocked, 2 fouls, 2 assists
* Michael Carrick (central-midfield): 56/67 passing (84%), 0 chances created, 0/0 crosses, 3/4 long balls, 0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 3 fouls won, 5 tackles, 6 interceptions, 0 shots
* Tom Cleverley (central-midfield): 66/73 passing (90%), 2 chances created, 1/2 crosses, 6/8 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 1 foul won, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 1 shot (0 on target)
* Ashley Young (right-winger | substituted off 46'): 13/16 passing (81%), 1 chance created, 0/3 crosses, 2/2 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 2 fouls won, 0 tackles, 3 interceptions, 0 shots
* Shinji Kagawa (left-winger | substituted off 77'): 39/43 passing (91%), 0 chances created, 0/1 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 3 fouls won, 1 tackle, 1 interception, 1 shot (1 on target)
* Danny Welbeck (striker): 19/25 passing (76%), 2 chances created, 1/2 crosses, 6/8 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 2 successful dribbles, 1 foul won, 3 shots (0 on target)
* Robin van Persie (striker): 21/27 passing (78%), 2 chances created, 1/3 crosses, 1/2 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 1 successful dribble, 2 fouls won, 8 shots (3 on target), 1 goal
* Antonio Valencia (right-winger | substituted on 46'): 12/17 passing (71%), 1 chance created, 1/2 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 2 successful dribbles, 2 fouls won, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 0 shots
* Phil Jones (central-midfield | substituted on 77'): 2/2 passing (100%), 0 chances created, 0/0 crosses, 0/0 long balls, 0/0 through balls, 0 successful dribbles, 0 fouls won, 0 tackles, 0 interceptions, 0 shots
* Chris Smalling (center-back | substituted on 80'): 0/0 passing (0%), 0 chances created, 0/0 long balls, 1 tackle, 0 interceptions, 1 clearance (1 effective), 0 shots blocked, 0 fouls
Sir Alex Ferguson | MUFC manager (courtesy of MUTV)
(Overall thoughts...) "All in all, it was an engrossing game, as we expected in a Manchester United-Liverpool match. 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."
(On the attack...) "[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. 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."
(On Liverpool in the 2nd half...) "I've not seen their goal again. 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."
Robin van Persie | MUFC striker (courtesy of MUTV)
(On Manchester United's first-goal...) "It was an unbelievable goal with great combinations. Michael Carrick was involved, Danny Welbeck was involved, as well as Tom [Cleverley] and Shinji [Kagawa], and then it went out on the left to Pat, who put a really good cross in and it was a good finish. It was a great goal – especially the build-up."
(Overall thoughts...) "Everybody felt the importance of this fixture during the week and we are really happy with the result. We had a good first half and it should have been more than 1-0 in my opinion. In the second half, Liverpool played for all or nothing with lots of attackers so we had to dig in and fight for each other, helping each other out where possible. We did that and we fought hard. We got the result we wanted."
(On having to hold off Liverpool at the end...) "We didn’t really want that because when you have a two-goal lead you want to keep it for as long as possible and they scored five or six minutes [after our second goal]. Then we had to go again and we had to find the right balance to try and score a third goal but not forget our defensive work. It was only a one goal difference so it was a bit tricky and they had a couple of chances, but overall I think it was a deserved win. It was a great game and a very honest game. The defence was great again and it was a proper football game."
(On Danny Welbeck's performance...) "He [Welbeck] played really well. I think he was good in the combinations and played a big part in the build-up to the first goal, passing and moving to make space. A couple of times he got the ball when they made a mistake. I got it one or two times when they misplaced the ball. He has been brilliant. He is still young and has been really good in training, working his socks off. He is a very positive guy who wants and loves to play football. He did really well."
Danny Welbeck | MUFC striker
(On beating Liverpool...) "Liverpool are our all-time rivals and it [the match] is a great occasion for both cities. Obviously I know what it's like, being a Manchester lad growing up through the ranks. It's been drilled into us ever since I was a little kid. Beating Liverpool is really big for us and I'm delighted to get the three points."
(On United's opening goal...) "A great team goal. We had our game plan set up and I think it really worked well in the first half."
(More on van Persie's goal) "It was a really good team move [for the first goal]. We passed the ball well, we switched it across the pitch and we penetrated the lines really well. And once Pat got into the wide position, and squared it to Robin, we knew that Robin had the quality to finish it off. Robin is different class. He produces moments in games that others can't. We're glad to have him on our side and putting the ball in the back of the net, as he did again today."
(On having to hold off Liverpool at the end...) "In the second half, I think Liverpool got into it towards the back end of the game. It was tense. We could feel the pressure they were putting us under for the last 10 to 15 minutes. The main thing was to stay compact, get behind the ball and defend well as a team. I think in the end that's what we did. I think we dug in really well and it was a great team performance."
(On Daniel Sturridge's impact as a substitute...) "We all know Sturridge is a quality player and he's got that goalscoring instinct. Once he came on the pitch we had to set up a little bit differently. I think we should have tightened more and done a bit more to stop Sturridge running in to finish it [to score for Liverpool]. But we'll learn from that. It's something we won't want to happen again."
(On United's second goal...) "I didn't notice [Vidic]. I just saw Pat [Evra] get his head to it. I wanted him to square it to me, to be honest, but I thought it was Pat's goal. He'll be a bit disappointed because everyone seemed to celebrate as if it was his goal. But to get the three points was the most important thing and everyone's delighted in the changing room. It's a massive win and it's a great afternoon for us, to be able to go back home, put our feet up and see how the Manchester City game [away to Arsenal] pans out."
(On getting a game...) "I've got to work hard in the game and when I get my chance to play, I want to show what I can do and try my best for the team. That's the most I can do and I'm not going to give anything less than that."
Brendan Rodgers | Liverpool manager (liverpoolfc.com)
(Overall thoughts...) "I thought at the end we deserved something. I am very proud of the fight in the team in the second half. We went 2-0 down and when you come here, it's always difficult. Other teams might have crumbled. We were disappointed with the first half. I thought we were too tentative. There wasn't much in the first half, but any chances they had were through us giving the ball away. We then go 2-0 behind with again a disappointing goal but from that moment, I thought our efficiency in the game was much better and by the end of the 90 minutes, I thought we probably deserved something. It was unfortunate, but I am proud of the second-half performance."
(On his team's mentality...) "There are two things you need when you play a rival. You need to have courage to play and you need to have the belief. I felt we were a wee bit too tentative in the first half. We wanted to pass the ball, which is great, but it's got to be aggressive. We presented them the ball and three opportunities in the first half just by being a little bit tentative, which you can understand because we had young players playing here. Sometimes that happens. At half-time we made changes tactically but also reinforced the mentality. They're real good players and it's important you don't let it [the game] pass you by - go and make something happen. I thought we did that and were unfortunate not to get something in the end."
(On Sturridge's impact as a substitute...) "This is a boy that can be a real top striker in this country. He is going to score many goals for Liverpool. You've seen in half a game today and 55 minutes last week [against Mansfield] that this boy is a goalscorer and all he needed was an opportunity. He had one goal and was unlucky a couple of times when he tried to organise his feet inside the box and just couldn't quite get a shot off. He is going to be a terrific signing for us."
(On if he was tempted to start Sturridge...) "Not really. I've been assessing him in training. He's coming back and sometimes you can rush a player back too quickly and break them. I didn't want to do that with Daniel. He is certainly getting there. He hadn't played for a while or trained, so it's just a case of building him into it. Another good week's training and hopefully he'll be fine and fit."
(On Fabio Borini's return from injury...) "It's the first time this season we've had our goal scorers on the field. Borini was bright when he came on and moved inside well. It gives us great hope."
(On being 24 points behind United...) "We're 24 points behind United - but we're not 24 points behind quality. The points difference is due to the squad - the depth in the squads is the difference for us. Once we close the gap in the squad over these coming windows, I've got great faith we'll be able to challenge. I've seen enough hope in these opening months to suggest we will do that - and today was another example of it. The most important thing is getting in good players. What we've got in those players is that they're all flexible. Fabio can play through the middle or off the side. We've seen Suarez playing central all season, but he's played off the side during his career, and likewise Daniel. It's about getting good players onto the field who can fit into the model and the structure. The shape of the team you shouldn't see so much when you've got the ball - it's more when you haven't got it."
(On whether or not Vidic was offside during his goal...) "I'm more disappointed with how we defended it, to be honest. We've got to do better at the back post. The ball has been played in, our line was okay but we've got to defend it better than that."
(On not having a victory scalp yet over any of the Premier League's top six sides...) "We've been close in a number of games against the teams at the top end of the league, but that's the next step for us. To win those games, that can set your journey off in a totally different direction. I said to the players afterwards, [Manchester United] is a football club that were dominated for many years. People still talk about the game against Nottingham Forest here. That was a defining moment to win that game and the FA Cup. For us, we've got great hope in the future and with how we're working that will happen here. It's going to be a long journey for us, but it's about closing the gap in the squad, getting those wins against the rivals and then we can gain confidence from that."