United’s supporters were heard chanting “Always the victim, it’s never your
fault” at the end in an apparent response to aeroplane gestures from the
The afternoon had been one for the Premier League to be proud, with a poignant, moving pre-match tribute followed by a handshake between Luis Suárez and Patrice Evra. But as Liverpool’s fans left Anfield after a 2-1 defeat, there were clear chants from the Anfield Road end. Rodgers claimed he did not hear them, but maintained the battle against sick chants will go on.
“There is an intense rivalry here and you don’t want that to end because that is all a part of what makes this the biggest game in British football,” he said.
“But it is on the field where competition should be and, everything else, songs from Liverpool or Manchester supporters, any of us that have any human decency don’t like to hear that.
“The fight will go on if there is a continuation of that but certainly at this club the work that has gone on in the last couple of weeks is something I am very proud of and the tributes today were fantastic. I would say that our supporters were absolutely phenomenal today.”
Any fears that Suárez and Evra would not shake hands before kick-off were also dispelled, with the Manchester United defender admitting the pair had a duty to make a public show of respect.
Seven months ago at Old Trafford Suárez had declined to shake Evra’s hand after serving an eight-match ban.
“The most important thing today was respect,” Evra said. “It was a game between two big clubs. There was a big tragedy. People were talking about a handshake but the stories of the clubs is bigger than that.
“If I hadn’t shaken Suárez’s hand, I would not be respecting the stories of the clubs. In the end I am glad this time he shook my hand. More importantly, it was important to respect the families. It was not an easy day.”
Ferguson was also effusive in his praise of
“Liverpool did a fantastic job today, the fans were terrific and I don’t think there can be any complaint on that part,” he said. “It was a nice touch Bobby Charlton giving the bouquet to Ian Rush and it demonstrates these two clubs can do things with unity and then we got on with the game. There was ferocity, it was intense and it has been a good day for football.”
Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s chief executive, said: “First and foremost great thanks to Manchester United. Their support today was important and we’re grateful. Their fans were excellent and our fans were excellent, which puts it into perspective that it was about the day.
“This week we have to thank Everton as well and football clubs around the world who have done things. It has been massive for the families and our role as a club is to support them.”