As the chants of “murderers” echoed around a near empty Anfield, the greatest victory that looked to have come from Sunday's game was snatched away.
This was a fixture that had seemed to pass without the controversy that many anticipated, outside the game at least. Two adults shook hands and both clubs played their part in an emotional tribute to 96 fans who didn't come home from a match, while Anfield was transformed into a mosaic of respect and memory. This was how it needed to be.
That we were able to focus upon the decisions of Mark Halsey in the aftermath of a fixture between Liverpool and Manchester United was a relief. This was the football.
There had been hope that neither side would throw any bait, let alone react to it. When the away support tested the atmosphere with an ill-judged rendition of “Where's your famous Munich song?” there was no response. We all relaxed.
Finally, after years of the vile referencing of human tragedies, had something changed? Maybe the fans had realised that the events of Munich, Hillsborough and Heysel were not 'football' tragedies, but tragic human losses which have no place as a method of gaining the upper-hand on a rival.
But then it began, rendering the previous ninety minutes redundant, to be placed in the file marked 'the fake sound of progress'.
It is reported that a small number of home fans remained after the majority were filing into Stanley Park to provoke with aeroplane gestures that are a clear reference to the Munich disaster.
Sadly, it seems that it only takes one inept faction to bring the rest crashing down. The points had been won on the pitch, but when retaliation provided the opportunity to gain a few more, the old chants returned.
This was the most snide of attacks, from both sides. Sky Sports were focussed on the Etihad, while the majority had diverted their eyes from Anfield. They thought they would get away with it. They thought that if nobody was looking, the moral rules of human decency no longer applied.
If in the weeks after the fans at Hillsborough were cleared of blame, the establishment lies that football's working class once stood together to fight against were exposed and in which Sir Alex Ferguson and Steven Gerrard begged their fans to behave with dignity, a section think they are able to continue their hatred without accountability, they are wrong.
If after all of these events they still haven't had their actions placed into perspective, they may never change.