Evra: It was all about respect

  • Last Updated: September 24 2012, 8:34 BST

Patrice Evra has confirmed there was never a chance he would not shake Luis Suarez's hand at Anfield on Sunday.

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra shake hands

Almost 12 months after the bitter racism row between the pair first surfaced, they finally shook hands to end their personal dispute.

Ahead of Manchester United's 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool, it was part of a sequence of events aimed at ensuring an emotional day passed off peacefully.

Team Score Team
Liverpool 1 - 2 Man Utd

It achieved its goal too, until long after the final whistle, when a couple of Liverpool fans ran across the main stand to goad the United contingent with a Munich gesture.

"The most important thing today was respect," Evra said. "It was a game between two big clubs.

"There was a big tragedy. People were talking about a handshake but the stories of the clubs is bigger than that. If I hadn't shaken Suarez's hand, I would not be respecting the stories of the clubs.

"In the end I am glad this time he shook my hand. More importantly, it was important to respect the families. It was not an easy day."

The response of the United fans to the taunts was depressingly predictable, chanting 'Always the victims' and 'Murderers' - reminders of the Merseyside club's own recent tragedies in Hillsborough and Heysel.

Position Player Score
1 Chelsea 13
2 Man Utd 12
3 Everton 10
4 West Brom 10

Social networking sites were flooded with responses as the bitterness spilled over. Yet neither manager was able to shed any light on the matter.

And all Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers could say was that the battle against those who let both clubs down will go on.

"What was done at the end I cannot comment on as I didn't hear or see anything," he said.

"There is an intense rivalry here and you don't want that to end because that is all a part of what makes this the biggest game in British football.

"But it is on the field where competition should be and everything else, songs from Liverpool or Manchester supporters, any of us that have any human decency don't like to hear that.

"The fight will go on if there is a continuation of that but certainly at this club the work that has gone on in the last couple of weeks is something I am very proud of and the tributes today were fantastic."

  • Manchester United's two goalscorers celebrate during a 2-1 victory over Liverpool
  • A Manchester United shirt bearing words supporting the Hillsborough families' fight for justice
  • Liverpool fans pay their own tribute inside Anfield
  • A banner displaying the names of the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough
  • Sir Bobby Charlton presents a boquet of flowers to Ian Rush
  • Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra shake hands before the game
  • Nani tries to get away from Martin Kelly
  • Brendan Rodgers looks on from the bench
  • Jonny Evans comes off second best in a committed challenge with Jonjo Shelvey
  • Shelvey gets his marching orders
  • Steven Gerrard breaks the deadlock for the home side
  • Gerrard points skywards as he celebrates his goal
  • At the other end, Pepe Reina celebrates Gerrard's goal
  • Rafael curls home a fine goal to level things up
  • Before Robin van Persie nets from the penalty spot to give United all three points
  • Van Persie celebrates success from the spot at Anfield
  • Dejection for Rodgers as Liverpool let it slip
  • Chris Hughton is back on familiar territory as Norwich visit Newcastle
  • Demba Ba marks his return to the side by breaking the deadlock
  • Ba celebrates his goal
  • Papiss Cisse squanders a penalty - but one goal was enough for Newcastle
  • A minute's applause following the death of two policewomen before Manchester City's clash with Arsenal at the Etihad
  • Laurent Koscielny and Edin Dzeko in aerial battle
  • Joleon Lescott heads Manchester City in the lead
  • Lescott is mobbed after hitting the net
  • Koscielny drills home a late leveller for Arsenal
  • Koscielny slides in delight after his equaliser
  • Bobby Zamora is mobbed after giving QPR the lead at former side Tottenham
  • But an own goal and a quickfire Jermain Defoe strike won Spurs the points
The best pictures from Sunday's action in the Barclays Premier League, including Liverpool v Manchester United.