Steven Gerrard has praised both Liverpool and Manchester United fans for their respectful behaviour at Anfield during the Reds’ 2-1 defeat on Sunday.
There were fears in the build-up that, with the game set to be played out to a sombre atmosphere following the fresh revelations surrounding the Hillsborough disaster, the tributes to the 96 people who lost their lives would be tainted by the inappropriate behaviour by sections of either support.
However, with the vast majority of United supporters joining their counterparts in a respectful tribute, Liverpool captain Gerrard told reporters: “There was a lot said about supporters on both sides behaving – and credit to them both, they were fantastic.”
The England international’s sentiments were echoed by Red Devils’ boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who added: “Liverpool did a fantastic job, the fans were terrific and I don’t think there can be any complaint on that part.
“It was a nice touch Bobby Charlton giving the bouquet to Ian Rush and it demonstrates these two clubs can do things with unity.”
The atmosphere appeared to spark a performance from the Liverpool players, who outplayed the away side for the majority of the game, only to eventually finish the game empty-handed following an impressive strike by Rafael and a Robin van Persie penalty despite initially taking the lead through Gerrard.