The Liverpool captain gave the home side the lead after 68 minutes when he curled his free-kick between Ryan Giggs and Danny Welbbeck and into the net.
United substitute Javier HernÃ¡ndez nodded home an instinctive header in the 80th minute to salvage a draw for the defending champions, but Ferguson was left disappointed with the goal his side conceded, and Giggs’ defending in particular.
“It was very difficult. The referee is under a lot of pressure and I’m not surprised they got the free-kick,” said Ferguson, referring to Rio Ferdinand’s foul on Charlie Adam in the build-up to Liverpool’s opener.
“It’s exactly the same as last year. The wide players left the wall and it was bad defensive play.
“I didn’t think they were really threatening until they scored the goal but then the game opened up and we took the chance. In the context of today the result is fair.”
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish thought the draw was an accurate reflection of a close match and hailed David de Gea’s performance in the United goal after the Spanish goalkeeper denied Dirk Kuyt and Jordan Henderson in the closing moments of the game.
“I thought in the first half the two teams almost cancelled each other out, and the second half started much the same,” said Dalglish.
“We scored the goal then they equalised, then their keeper made two or three good saves. I thought the boy [De Gea] was struggling? He wasn’t struggling today, he made two or three great saves.”
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