"The name of the game in the big matches are the moments where you have to defend. Today was one of them."

- Sir Alex Ferguson, MUTV

13/01/2013 16:12, Report by Adam Marshall
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Boss delighted with win

Sir Alex Ferguson was suitably satisified with a draining victory against Liverpool and felt United defended stoutly to clinch the three points.

The Reds were forced to hang on in the closing stages, despite taking a two-goal advantage through Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic. But Daniel Sturridge pulled one back to spark a late revival by the visitors. 

"All in all, it was an engrossing game, as we expected in a Manchester United-Liverpool match," he told MUTV. "It's full of emotion, intensity and it's great to win. It was a magnificent performance in the first half, as well as we've played for a long time. It was hard work after they scored, to be honest with you, and I'm just glad we won the match.

"I think winning is important – it doesn't matter what league position we are in. I've said many times, it's a fantastic challenge between the two most successful teams in the country. I think those three points today are very, very important ones."

The manager felt Shinji Kagawa deserved a penalty when he appeared to be pushed into Pepe Reina during a scramble just before half time and paid tribute to Danny Welbeck for a tireless display.

"[The first goal] was a great build-up, terrific football, and a great finish by Robin but we should have been three or four up," added the boss. "I thought we should have had a penalty when Shinji was brought down.

"Danny was fantastic. I thought he gave them a real hard day of it, the two centre-backs. He and Robin, particularly in the first half, gave them a very difficult time. The reason Danny played was because we wanted someone who would drop on top of their centre-midfield player. He did that well and put in a great shift. He ran his legs off today and deserved the Man of the Match award."

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