Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has revealed how a "half-time slanging match" involving his team-mates inspired the Red Devils to a 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star relayed the France international's comments after the north-west derby, with the former Southampton player claiming there was "screaming" and "shouting" in the dressing room after the hosts dominated the opening half:
Anfield is always a nice atmosphere, especially in a derby match. We could feel it was a special moment and we are very happy to finish with the win.
It was the most important thing to give the win to our fans and the football club. Hopefully now we can carry on.
In the first half, we didn't win enough second balls. Sometimes we won the first ball but not the second ball.
When we came into the dressing room after the first half, there was some screaming and shouting, but of course that is normal because in a derby you cannot lose the battle.
United robbed Liverpool in their own backyard, as Wayne Rooney struck late to seal the points. The visitors managed just the solitary strike on target, according to WhoScored.com, after Marouane Fellaini's towering header hit the crossbar—allowing the England captain to expertly finish with a volley.
The Reds had dominated their local foes from the other end of the East Lancs Road for large periods of the match, as manager Jurgen Klopp looked to win his first game against United.
However, the German was left bitterly disappointed as United goalkeeper David De Gea was once again in fine form, keeping a clean sheet that allowed coach Louis van Gaal's team to prevail.
Schneiderlin congratulated his keeper after the game and commented on Liverpool's progressive style, per Cross:
Liverpool are a very high pressing team and we knew if we kept a clean sheet we would have a chance to win the game.
In the second half we did what we had to do. We scored one goal, stayed strong and, at the end, it is three points which is amazing. ...
David [De Gea] is a very important player in our squad. We are very happy to have him and happy that he didn't go last summer. He is fully committed to this football club.
When you have a player like this in goal, it's good for us because we know we are not going to concede many goals and he is going to make some saves. Well done to him.
It was a match Liverpool should have won, but Klopp's midfield could not turn the screw as United faltered.
Football writer Daniel Storey gave his conclusions during the derby, commenting on the individuals in the starting lineup for the Anfield giants:
Combine the three of them and there's a decent current player in Henderson, Lallana and Milner. Just that they're taking up three places.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) January 17, 2016
United rode their luck on Sunday, but that will not bother Van Gaal as he tries to find ways to consistently win football matches.
Will United catch Arsenal at the top?
Form dictates United have no chance of closing the gap to the top, but with Tottenham Hotspur two points above in fourth, Van Gaal's hopes of a Champions League finish have been reignited.
Klopp has serious reconstruction work to do at Liverpool, and the fact he has twice brought on loanee Steven Caulker as an attacking substitute shows the depth of problems in the current squad.
The German manager needs to bring in reinforcements in January if Liverpool want a top-four finish, otherwise it could be a dark first year in charge for the former Borussia Dortmund boss, as his team struggle to make tangible progress in the table.