Manchester United lacked spirit admits Evra

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The Independent Football

Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra has questioned the team's attitude after they were eclipsed by Liverpool at Anfield.

Evra was left frustrated at the manner of United's first defeat in 12 games in all competitions.

Goals from a fit-again Fernando Torres and substitute David Ngog in the second half ended a run of four losses for Liverpool.

United rarely threatened against their bitter rivals, with Antonio Valencia's effort which hit the bar the only real shot of note.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson suggested the red raw atmosphere may have affected the players.

However Evra was in no mood to offer excuses with United remaining two points adrift of Chelsea at the top of the table.

"I'm always happy to play at Liverpool, I am not scared," he told MUTV. "We also have a lot of experienced players, who are used to big games.

"But we did not show the Manchester United spirit. The advice was to play our football but we did not do that and I do not know why.

"Liverpool were aggressive but we did not play and that is why it is so frustrating to lose.

"Normally we create at least five or six clear chances in a game but we only had the one when Valencia hit the bar. It is not enough if you want to win against Liverpool."

United defender Nemanja Vidic is set for a one-match ban after being picking up two yellow cards.

Evra, however, agreed with Ferguson that Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher should have been dismissed for a challenge on former team-mate Michael Owen when he was clean through.

"I do not understand why Carragher only got a yellow card for fouling Owen when I think he was the last man," said the French defender.

"But I look more at the display of Manchester United and the display was poor."

Evra revealed there was little discussion among the players about the defeat after the game.

He said: "Losing to Liverpool is the most pain you can have when you play for United.

"There was a big silence in the dressing room and we will need a few days to recover from this big disappointment for us, for the staff, for the fans."

Games are coming thick and fast for United, however, and they return to Barclays Premier League action on Saturday at Old Trafford with Blackburn the visitors.

Before that is a trip to Barnsley in the Carling Cup tomorrow, and Evra added: "We need to do what we did last year - win the league after losing to Liverpool.

"We also need to make sure we show the real United team the next time at Old Trafford."

Ferguson will shuffle his pack again for the fourth-round match at Oakwell.

Promising striker Danny Welbeck could be given a run-out after getting the goal that brought down Wolves in the last round.

Midfielder Darren Fletcher might also feature if he recovers from a groin injury that ruled him out of the defeat at Liverpool yesterday.

Senior professionals such as Owen, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Wes Brown are all set to be involved against the Coca-Cola Championship side, managed by former Old Trafford striker Mark Robins.

Assistant manager Mike Phelan confirmed: "We will change things around as we need to have a look at some players.

"Then we will move on to the match against Blackburn. We need to put things right after losing to Liverpool."