Patrice Evra never considered not shaking hands with Luis Suárez because of the importance of Liverpool and Manchester United players respecting the families affected by the Hillsborough disaster.
Both teams wore tracksuit tops with '96' printed on the back in reference to the victims of the 1989 tragedy after the Hillsborough Independent Panel cleared Liverpool fans of any wrongdoing last week.
Although the build-up to the fixture was dominated by how both sets of supporters would behave, Evra and Suárez coming face-to-face was another issue which garnered attention.
Suárez received a £40,000 fine and was banned for eight matches by the Football Association last year for racially abusing the United defender at Anfield. The Uruguayan then refused to shake hands with Evra when they at the reverse fixture in February this year.
But the Frenchman insisted the emotion of Sunday's occasion made his own personal sideshow one of inconsequence.
"The most important thing today was respect," the 31-year-old told ManUtd.com after the game.
"There was a big tragedy. People were talking about a handshake but the stories of the clubs is bigger than that. If I hadn’t shaken Suarez’s hand, I would not be respecting the stories of the clubs.
"In the end I am glad this time he shook my hand. More importantly, it was important to respect the families. It was not an easy day."
Roundly booed when he returned to Anfield for the first time since the FA's decision earlier this year, Evra was still subjected to a smattering of jeers from the home supporters on Sunday.
When asked about a couple of Liverpool fans goading United's contingent after the final whistle by making airplane gestures in reference to the 1958 Munich air disaster, Evra insisted he did not witness what happened.
"What was done at the end I cannot comment on as I didn't hear or see anything," he said.
"There is an intense rivalry here and you don't want that to end because that is all a part of what makes this the biggest game in British football."
The France international added United's victory at Anfield - their first since December 2007 - was "one of the best sensations" of his Red Devils career.