Moyes: We needed to put things right
David Moyes admitted to being a relieved man as the champions responded to Sunday's 4-1 derby defeat against Manchester City.
With Luis Suárez ending his 10-game suspension with 90 minutes for Brendan Rodgers' team, Javier Hernández's 46th-minute goal ultimately secured a fourth-round tie at home to Norwich City.
It was a cathartic victory for United in the wake of their weekend humiliation and Moyes's admission to being "shocked" by the manner of the defeat at the Etihad Stadium. And the Scot, who made eight changes to his team, confessed that his overriding emotion was relief.
"It certainly was, because it was a big game for us," Moyes said. "We had lost at Anfield and at the Etihad and we wanted to put that right. It was important the whole club showed that we were hurt by Sunday. We didn't perform to our levels.
"But the players have gone out to get us a big result and I am really pleased with them. We made a lot of changes to make sure we used the squad, but it certainly wasn't a risk playing the team I did with the players we have got at Manchester United. Some of the performances were excellent and they had to be."
Suárez, who impressed on his return to club duty following his ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, spoke briefly to reiterate his commitment to Liverpool after attempting to force a move away this summer.
"The result is not good because we lost but the feeling is good because we played very well," Suárez said. "I know it was a difficult moment but for myself and for the team it's very important I'm back because I can help the team and off the pitch I can't. All the time I try my best on the pitch. I'm here to help the team and help Liverpool and I'll try my best."
Suárez went closest when hitting the crossbar with a 72nd-minute free-kick and Rodgers was more than happy with his comeback.
"I thought he was excellent," Rodgers said. "When you consider he's been out for such a long time, he ran himself into the ground and he was always a threat. He put defenders on the back foot and had a couple of twists and turns that looked like he was going to get in.
"He'll get a wee bit sharper. Overall, he can be really pleased. I was really happy for him because his contribution was brilliant."
Despite the defeat at City, which followed a 1-0 Premier League loss at Anfield and 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea, last night's victory ensured the statistical quirk of Moyes enjoying the best start of a new manager at Old Trafford since Sir Matt Busby.
"Somebody told me that before the game," Moyes said. "But that is the way it is. Everybody seems to be picking a stat out - I have not won here or I have not done that. That is one of the good stats. I have not had that many good ones, but that is one of the better ones.
"It is not frustrating. I will sort it. I will fix it. I have no doubt about that. The start [to the season] was really tough. Nothing has changed, but now we have got games we have to show we are capable of winning. We have to try and do that in the next month. We know we have to improve. This is a really good team, it won the Premier League."