Date: 14th January 2013 at 8:01am
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Despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to rivals Manchester United on Sunday, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased with the attitude shown by his players…

Liverpool ultimately paid the price for a slow start at Old Trafford yesterday afternoon but not before the away side had gone close to snatching a point with an improved second-half showing.

In truth a draw may have been harsh on the hosts after the Reds failed to create a chance of note in the opening stages and goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic had put them 2-0 up shortly after the interval.

However, Liverpool responded brilliantly to United’s fortuitous second and pulled one back within three minutes; half-time substitute Daniel Sturride slotting home a rebound after Steven Gerrard‘s fierce shot was saved.

The Merseysiders then took control of the remaining half-hour and the closing period saw a number of chances come and go with Sturridge in particular missing a couple of presentable openings to further add to his impressive impact since joining from Chelsea two weeks ago.

In summarising the match, Kop boss Brendan Rodgers conceded his team had struggled in the opening 45 minutes, but he was left more than satisfied by their improved second-half endeavours.

“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,” said Rodgers at his post-match press conference.

“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 then go 2-0 behind with again a disappointing goal but from that moment, I thought our efficiency in the game was much better and 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.”

On the subject of Sturridge, the 39-year-old Northern Irishman went on to praise the impact made by his new signing, who also scored on his debut against Mansfield Town, suggesting the striker has the ability to be a massive success at Anfield.

“This is a boy that can be a real top striker in this country. He is going to score many goals for Liverpool,” boasted Rodgers.

“You’ve seen in half a game today and 55 minutes last week that this boy is a goalscorer and all he needed was an opportunity.

“He had one goal and was unlucky a couple of times when he tried to organise his feet inside the box and just couldn’t quite get a shot off.

“He is going to be a terrific signing for us.”

The result leaves Liverpool in 8th place in the Premier League standings and, with further difficult away fixtures to Arsenal and Manchester City on the horizon, everyone connected to the club will be hoping they start future games in the manner they finished this one.

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