Kenny Dalglish reacted angrily to the suggestion that Luis Suarez's refusal to shake hands with Patrice Evra set a cynical tone for Saturday's clash between Manchester United and Liverpool, telling his interviewer that he was "bang out of order".
Watch Suarez refuse to shake Evra's hand
United beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford in a game that saw Suarez score a consolation for the away side, but the Uruguayan had already caused controversy by failing to shake Evra's hand in the pre-match ritual. The pair had not met since Evra accused the Liverpool man of racial abuse, which resulted in an eight-match ban for Suarez.
Dalglish claimed he did not see the 'non-handshake', but he was told by his interviewer that the incident had taken place. The reporter then suggested Suarez had set the tone for a bad-tempered match that saw police involved during an alleged half-time tussle.
"I'll have to take your word for it, I wasn't there. Ask him, take it from him," Dalglish said of Suarez's refusal to acknowledge Evra on Sky Sports. "I think you're very severe and bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened here today. Both sets of fans behaved really well, there was banter between each other, no problem."
Dalglish was then interrupted as the reporter attempted to focus on the handshake, to which the Liverpool boss kept asking: "How many bookings were there? How many bookings were there? How many bookings were there?"
The answer was two, to which Dalglish responded: "In a Man United v Liverpool game, that's not bad."
Dalglish continued: "You know something else, when we had the FA Cup game [between Liverpool and United], because we didn't have a 24-hour news channel before the game, nothing like this happened.
"It was tight getting through the tunnel, I didn't see what went on [between the players]. If you want to know what went on, ask somebody else who was there because I wasn't."
Focusing on the game, Dalglish confessed United were the better side on the day, and even refused the chance to complain over a potential first-half red card for Rio Ferdinand. The United man challenged Suarez, who would have been clean through, but Dalglish confessed it was a tough decision for the referee to make.
"If you've got 24 cameras and 34 repeats and you can't see what happened, there's no chance of me giving a valid opinion," commented the Scot. "The two goals coming as quickly as they did made it very difficult for us to get something out of the game. Overall they were the better side, but the two goals gave us a mountain to climb."