Patrice Evra has revealed the relief in the Manchester United dressing room following the 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Sunday, their first on Mersyside since 2007.
Following a lacklustre first-half showing, the away side rallied after the break, with goals from Rafael and a Robin van Persie penalty cancelling out Steven Gerrard’s opener.
“It’s unbelievable,” Evra told MUTV. “We’ve been coming here for four years [almost five years], a long time and I’ve not been seeing a dressing room like that with smiles on the faces after the game. I want to win against Liverpool. If I play badly or play well, I just want to win and that is what we did.”
The 31-year-old went on to speak of the difficulties surrounding the occasion at Anfield, which proved to be a hugely emotional one, as the home side played their first match in front of their own fans since the revelations surrounding the Hillsborough disaster were revealed.
Indeed, Evra, who is familiar with controversy after his allegations of racism against Luis Suarez, believes his decision to shake the Uruguyan’s hand before the match was a fitting move to the atmosphere inside the ground.
He added: “I think the most important word today was respect because it was a game between two big clubs that have both had big tragedies. That’s why, although a lot of people were talking about me shaking hands with Suarez, the story of the clubs is bigger than that. It’s why I think if I didn’t shake his hand, I didn’t respect the story of both clubs.”