London: There was a lot said before the match about how Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra should get on with their jobs, play football and forget about the past.
But all that talk lasted about 30 seconds on TV, as the teams lined up, took a look at the 75,000 strong crowd and moved towards each other to shake hands with the home team. But guess what..Evra offered his hands to Suarez and he snubbed. The French defender tried to pull him back, insisting for a truce, but the Uruguayan would have none of it.
Kenny Dalglish seemed surprised when he was questioned about it. "I didn't see it! I was not there and I did not see it. You should ask Suarez about it if you want, or someone who saw it, " he said, seemingly flustered and almost staging a walkout from the SKY reporter.
As for the match, it was 50-50 in the first half, with United having a few half chances in the early minutes- Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia particularly impressive, with the former reacting a wee bit late when he just had to touch the ball from a Rafael cross.
Liverpool also had their chances, with Glen Johnson on the overlap looking immensely dangerous. He cut in to his left foot in one of those runs and tried to curl it past the keeper. David De Gea was beaten but the ball just swooped past the post.
Shortly after, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs combined from the middle of the park before the Welshman crossed for his long-time teammate, only for his point-blank header aimed straight at Pepe Reina. There was a questionable moment for Rio Ferdinand as he challenged Suarez at the end of the first half. The striker was the last man but Phil Dowd rightly ruled out a fowl, with replays suggesting Ferdinand got enough of the ball. Suarez was furious with the decision and kicked out at the ball as the teams headed into the tunnel.
United struck twice early in the second half as Wayne Rooney volleyed in a Giggs corner and minutes later, calmly finished first time from Antonio Valencia's pass- through the legs of Pepe Reina.
From then on, it was all United until Suarez scored a goal off a Charlie Adam free-kick in the 80th minute. Liverpool added a lot of pressure thereafter but the United defence hung on. Credit to De Gea too as he kept out a stunning 20 yard effort from Johnson which looked as if it was going into the net for the equaliser.
After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson was talking to Sky Sports: "I think we should have scored more goals to be honest. There was some fantastic football played out there. As far as the handshake snub is concerned, I think his actions are a disgrace to Liverpool football club and I don't think a player like him should play for a club which has great history."
Manchester United have moved to the top of the Premier League table, at least until Sunday when Manchester City visit Aston Villa. Post-match reactions from pundits across the football world suggested that Luis Suarez's actions have not helped anyone- and it looks to be seen what Dalglish will do about it.
First Published On : Feb 11, 2012 20:49 IST