Manchester United keeper Tim Howard paid tribute to his team-mates after they heaped more pressure on Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan with their own version of the St Valentine’s Day massacre at Old Trafford.
United won 4-2 in the FA Cup fifth round to put the spotlight back on Keegan, who now has a Premiership relegation battle on his hands.
Howard insisted the Red Devils showed character when they were down to 10 men following the sending off of Gary Neville.
He told Sky Sports 2: “The atmosphere was great and we won again.
“We were inspired in the second half when Gary was off. He didn’t want to get sent off but we played with a lot of emotion.
“There was a lot of pressure on us in the second half. They were a man ahead and had their crowd behind them.”
Asked if his save from Joey Barton was his best of the afternoon, Howard said: “As long as we win I’ll say yes. It was just reaction. A lot of keepers are like me – the ball hits you and you get lucky.”
Howard admitted United had been stung by the midweek criticism following their Old Trafford defeat by Middlesbrough.
“We felt shaky and knew we had been criticised. But every day is a new day. Beating City in a Manchester derby is great but advancing is the number one objective.”