Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed anything but a win would have been a travesty after seeing his side beat Liverpool 3-2.
Dimitar Berbatov completed a hat-trick six minutes from time to deny Liverpool after a Steven Gerrard double had hauled the visitors back from 2-0 down.
"From thinking to myself 'it's going to be 10', we ended up level at 2-2," said Ferguson after the Old Trafford clash.
"It was a travesty of a scoreline then but a great result at the end."
Liverpool levelled within 11 minutes of falling two goals behind but Ferguson felt the visitors were lucky to get a foothold back in the game.
"Liverpool didn't offer anything and depended on decisions from the linesman to get back in the game," he added.
"Edwin van der Sar had no saves to make, Paul Scholes controlled the midfield and we looked dangerous up front, with Dimitar and Nani - I couldn't see us losing the game."
Often derided as lacking passion - an Eric Cantona-lite - Berbatov has cast off the shackles to become the player Ferguson thought he was paying £30m for when he arrived from Tottenham.
And while Ferguson was fulsome in his praise of Berbatov, who became the first player to score a hat-trick for United against Liverpool in 64 years, he did concede that United had their own moment of good fortune when the Bulgarian scored with an overhead kick via the underside of the bar to make it 2-0.
"It was unexpected, a surprise attempt. Not many of those go in the net but fortunately it did this time," stated Ferguson.
"There was a lot of criticism of Berbatov last season from the media - it happens when we buy someone for a lot of money, that's the way of the world.
"But this season he has started off in the right fashion. He was good in pre-season and on tour and has carried it on. There has never been any doubt about the quality of the man."
Berbatov, who has now scored seven goals this season, enthused: "It was probably my best day in a United shirt.
"I am happy. I am going home with a smile on my face but I am nothing special. I am going home to play with my kids."
- ▼ September (6)