• Premier League

Downing: We gave United too much respect

ESPN staff
January 14, 2013
Stewart Downing admitted Liverpool showed Manchester United too much respect in the first half © PA Photos

Stewart Downing has admitted that Liverpool showed Manchester United too much respect during Sunday's Premier League defeat at Old Trafford.

Brendan Rodgers' side are 24 points adrift of the leaders after being beaten 2-1, and were left to rue a poor opening 45 minutes.

Liverpool trailed to a Robin van Persie goal at the break, then conceded a second to Nemanja Vidic early in the second half before Daniel Sturridge pulled one back just before the hour mark to spark a fightback that might have saved a point.

Downing, though, feels that he and his team-mates were too slow out of the starting blocks.

"In the end, we're disappointed that we didn't take anything out of the game. We should have got a draw," the winger told the Liverpool Echo. "We probably let them control it in the first half. We sat back too much and just let them have the ball too much.

"We showed United too much respect. The manager stressed at half-time that we needed to push on and put them under pressure more when they had the ball. He said if we could get at them, they would tire and we would get chances. We did that and you saw that in the second half that we played further up the pitch.

"I thought in the second half, our performance was really good. Certainly for the last 20 minutes, we had them pegged right back. You could sense that their fans were getting edgy and Alex Ferguson was shouting a lot of instructions. We had them rattled a bit and created plenty of chances."

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