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Defiant Ferguson demands response

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson's side have been beaten twice by Liverpool in the league this season

Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that Saturday's 4-1 defeat by Liverpool would not halt his side's attempt to retain their Premier League title.

Despite the loss, leaders United still head their Merseyside rivals by four points and with a game in hand.

"It is a hard one to take because I thought we were the better team and the score does not reflect that," he said.

"Now the thing is to respond. It always is at this club - you lose a game and you respond. We always do."

Realistically, we have to win all of our remaining games

Rafa Benitez

Liverpool recorded their biggest win at Old Trafford since 1936, coming from behind to win, with United having Nemanja Vidic sent off after the break for the second time this season against the Anfield side.

Cristiano Ronaldo gave United the lead but Fernando Torres soon levelled and a Steven Gerrard penalty just before the break gave Liverpool the advantage before Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena heaped further misery on the leaders.

"There is no complacency on our part," added Ferguson. "It was a bad day in terms of the goals we lost but I couldn't argue with the quality of play that much," he said.

"One or two players were a little bit short in terms of what we expect of them but I do know the football was good, we kept driving on and they showed good energy, even though we only had two-and-a-half days to prepare for the match."

United legend Sir Bobby Charlton told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek that the defeat could even help strengthen the champions' resolve through the title run-in.


"There was a little bit of stress because we kept on winning matches. It helps to maybe turn the gas down a little bit, and a lot of pressure has maybe eased. I'm hoping we're going to do better because of this result," he said.

"It wasn't a result that anyone at Manchester United could be proud of, but nevertheless you have to say that Liverpool really played well and they deserved to win."

Charlton backed Ferguson to get his side's defence straight back on track in the next league outing away to Fulham on Saturday.

"He will make sure they get their confidence back. It's a bit of a blow - to lose four goals at home hasn't been done for so many years. There's a bit of pride been hurt there, but I don't think he'll have to work too hard to rejuvenate them.

"Getting to the end of the season, all matches are important. So they'll suffer a little bit on this one and when the next one comes along next week, I'm sure we'll be ready for it."

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see also
Premier League as it happened
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
14 Mar 09 |  Football
Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Ferguson defends Rooney comments
13 Mar 09 |  Man Utd
Giggs believes quintuple is on
12 Mar 09 |  Man Utd

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