Ferdinand hails United spirit

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Rio Ferdinand feels that Manchester United were in total control in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Liverpool, but admits that Luis Suarez's late consolation goal briefly gave the players the jitters.

The 33-year-old defender praised his teammates' spirit and determination after securing a 'massive' win at Old Trafford, which briefly returned the Red Devils to the top of the Premier League table. Rivals Manchester City responded in typical fashion with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa yesterday, with Joleon Lescott scoring the only goal for Roberto Mancini's side.

"It was massive," Ferdinand told MUTV after the match. "We've not had great results against them in recent years and this is an important point of the season in which to get this result. We're all happy.

"We wanted to win, we got a great draw last Sunday against Chelsea. Today it's great to get the three points and carry on from there. We controlled the whole game, especially the second half. It was almost like a walk in the park at times. But that happens in these games.

"You have moments like that but you have to always be aware the other team has quality on their team. Saying that, it wasn't a great goal from them. We should have dealt with the first ball in and we didn't. But in games like this the result's the most important thing.

"We just have to take care of our own results. If we continue doing that we've got a chance. We're not worried about what everyone else is doing. We're just concentrating on ourselves and want to continue getting three points."

Unfortunately, the game will be best remembered for the ongoing spat between Patrice Evra and Suarez, after the Uruguayan striker refused the United captain's hand during the pre-match handshake ceremony.

The incident set the tone for Saturday's proceedings, as the two sets of players were involved in yet more unsavoury scenes, reportedly clashing in the tunnel at half-time before Liverpool players reacted angrily to Evra's celebrations following the victory at the full-time whistle.

"I thought it was bad decision-making from their guy," continued Ferdinand. "It's a touchy subject at the minute and things could have been put to bed a little bit easier if the handshake had been done.

"After seeing what I saw I decided not to shake his hand. He's not got the respect that he needs to have in these situations and acknowledge he's made a mistake and say sorry. I lost all respect for the guy after that.

"It could have been resolved today, maybe, between the two people who are involved. After this, it's not great. It's disappointing. I expected more from the other guy but it wasn't to be.

"There are a lot of things going on both on and off the pitch. But the result was the most important thing. To win the game [it was an] unbelievable atmosphere. I thought both sets of fans were good. That was pleasing. Hopefully we can talk more about the football."

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