Liverpool's Jamie Carragher struck ref 'deal' to avoid red card vs. Man United

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has recalled that he talked himself out of being sent off in a fiercely-contested game against Manchester United in March 2011.

The incident, which happened in a 3-1 win for the Merseysiders at Anfield, saw United winger Nani stretchered off after a reckless challenge by Carragher.

And speaking to Sky Sports to preview Monday's meeting between the two sides, the ex-England international said he managed to persuade referee Phil Dowd not to dismiss him.

"I was on favourable terms with Phil Dowd," Carragher said. "I got him on my own and said: 'He just beat me with skills.' Everyone was fighting, and I got him over like an experienced pro.

"Did I think it was a red card at the time? Oh yeah. I've seen the reaction of all the players but like I said, I got Phil Dowd, had a word with him and we came to some sort of a deal."

United legend Gary Neville, recalling the incident from his team's standpoint, said: "I went straight to the referee because one of the big things in these games is if you can get someone sent off, you do it straight away.

"He [Carragher] knew what I was doing and he would have done the same, by the way. In those days, you would go to the referee, talk to him and say: 'Are you going to make a decision?'

"Part of the big games is influencing the referee. You had to. Arsenal did it, Liverpool did it, we did it. Other clubs like Chelsea did it and I genuinely believe you could influence them.

"Not in a way that makes them a cheat or dishonest, no, but just that the pressure of being in Anfield or Old Trafford with that weight, it's not easy.

"It wasn't a massive part of the game, but it was part of the game that was there, and this incident was over influencing the referee."