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The England international believes criticism of his centre-back partner has been "way off the mark" and has praised the Northern Irishman's display at Old Trafford

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has praised team-mate Jonny Evans after Saturday's victory against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The Northern Ireland international has received criticism for his past performances for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, while the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have been preferred in defence at times this season.

However, Ferdinand has defended the centre-back and says he was pleased with the player's display in the 2-1 win over Kenny Dalglish's side.

"Jonny was fantastic," Ferdinand told reporters.

"A lot of the stuff that has been said about Jonny is way off the mark.

"He is appreciated by everyone in the squad."

Ferdinand also praised Wayne Rooney, an Everton fan, after he scored both United goals against rivals Liverpool.

"Wayne is a Liverpool lad and an Evertonian," he added.

"To score against not only our rivals but those of his boyhood team, it must have gone down well for him."

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