Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish praised the attitude of players and fans alike after his side knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 fourth round win at Anfield.
Off-field matters had dominated pre-match proceedings ahead of the first meeting of the two sides since Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra. Dirk Kuyt's 88th-minute goal proved decisive, after Daniel Agger's header had been cancelled out by Park Ji-sung before half-time.
Liverpool made it two cup victories three days having reached the Carling Cup final in midweek at the expense of Manchester City. Dalglish said: "It was a fantastic effort from our players after what they had to get through on Wednesday night."
He added: "To ask them to come back and play again on Saturday morning was pushing it a bit too far. Their commitment, attitude and desire to get a result was fantastic and we cannot speak highly enough of them after that performance and result."
Evra was booed throughout by Liverpool fans but other than a few expletive-filled chants and a couple of antagonistic banners nothing untoward happened inside the ground.
"I think both sets of fans were a magnificent advert for their clubs," added Dalglish. "Both clubs can be very proud of the fans they have here. There was a good bit banter between both fans, which is brilliant because you don't want to take that away.
"I think in the main they were fantastic and the players were a credit to that because none of them tried to do anything other than play football. They (United fans) will be disappointed at losing but they deserve credit for contributing to the occasion.
"That is what the players did and the fans did; the fans are entitled to support their team, absolutely no problem. I don't think there was anything there that was untowards."
Sir Alex Ferguson was unable to mask the shattering disappointment of losing a game he did not think it was possible United would fail in once Park had levelled.
"To lose the game is hard to believe," said the Scot. "We dominated the game and we were comfortable. Our movement off the ball was good and I thought we were in the driving seat."
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Soccer