Liverpool found themselves two goals down to strikes from Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra before substitute Daniel Sturridge pulled a goal back, but despite plenty of late pressure for the away team, the Reds couldn't find an equaliser.
The manager was effusive in his praise for the players in not accepting their fate after falling two goals behind (per LiverpoolFC.com):
I thought at the end we deserved something. I am very proud of the fight in the team in the second half. We went 2-0 down and when you come here, it's always difficult. Other teams might have crumbled. By the end of the 90 minutes, I thought we probably deserved something. It was unfortunate, but I am proud of the second-half performance.
We were disappointed with the first half. I thought we were too tentative. There wasn't much in the first half, but any chances they had were through us giving the ball away. We wanted to pass the ball, which is great, but it's got to be aggressive. We presented them the ball and three opportunities in the first half just by being a little bit tentative.
Praise was also reserved for striker Daniel Sturridge, who marked his Premier League debut for the club with a goal, his second in two games for Liverpool.
This is a boy that can be a real top striker in this country. He is going to score many goals for Liverpool. You've seen in half a game today and 55 minutes last week [against Mansfield] that this boy is a goalscorer and all he needed was an opportunity. He is going to be a terrific signing for us.
On the part of Manchester United, boss Alex Ferguson spoke to the BBC and was quick to praise his players for a fantastic first 60 minutes, as they bossed the game for large spells.
Up until Liverpool scored we were fantastic. That was as well as we've played for quite a while. When you play Liverpool you've got to be in your best form, and I thought that was ours. Liverpool were inspired with the goal and credit to Liverpool for coming back. Their fans got something to cheer on and they made a real fist of it.
Fantastic. They [Vidic and Rio Ferdinand] were absolutely brilliant. Experience counts, and it counted today.
Johnny Evans, who has played much of this season, missed the game with a muscle injury—but Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both appeared off the substitutes' bench.
United's win sent them temporarily 10 points clear at the top of the league.