Patrice Evra admits that shaking hands with Luis Suarez was important to do before kick-off because the day had to be full of respect.
The clash between fierce rivals came just a week after the revealing of the Hillsborough reports and it was set to be an emotional day for all involved with Liverpool Football Club.
The main worries before the game were to do with fans behaving and also whether Suarez and Evra would shake hands after the racism row of last year sparked conflict between the two players. Last year, Suarez rejected Evra’s handshake, but it was all different this year, as both players put out their hands and completed the shake.
‘The most important thing today was respect,’ said Evra. ‘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 Suarez’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.’
He then added: He added: ‘In the end, this time, he shook my hand and it was more important to respect the families who lost a lot of people.’
The game eventually finished 2-1 to the away side after goals from Rafael and Robin Van Persie, but overall both managers were happy with the way fans behaved.
There were only two sickening chants from the fans during and after the game. Both coming from Man United fans. The first one they sang, during the game, was about the Munich disaster and they were chanting: ‘Where’s your famous Munich song’, aiming this at Liverpool fans as they usually insult United by chanting about it.
The second vile song was heard after the full time whistle, when the travelling fans once again sang: ‘Always the victim, it’s never your fault’
However, a Liverpool fan did have to be escorted from the match after pretending to be an aeroplane, which was deemed offensive towards Manchester United, after the Munich disaster.
Alex William Batt