Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard apologised after he was sent off for a rash stamp having been on the pitch for just 38 seconds of their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday. Gerrard entered the fray as a halftime substitute but received a straight red card after reacting to a poor tackle from United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera. With Gerrard set to quit Liverpool for MLS side LA Galaxy in the close season, this was almost certainly his last appearance for the Merseysiders against their fierce north-west rivals. "I need to accept it; the decision was right. I've let down my team mates and the fans. I take full responsibility," Gerrard told Sky Sports. "I don't know what caused it. Probably just a reaction to the initial tackle. "I shouldn't say more about it really. I've just come out here to apologise to the dressing room and supporters." Gerrard had been left on the bench by manager Brendan Rodgers after only recently returning from injury with Liverpool embarking on an impressive winning run in his absence. With United bossing the opening 45 minutes at Anfield, Gerrard immediately set about adding a physical side to Liverpool's game that was missing in the first half. He flew into a challenge on Juan Mata, sparking the Liverpool crowd into life, but then reacted moments later when Herrera caught him with a reckless lunge. Mata then scored his and United's second goal shortly afterwards with a superb volley. While 10-man Liverpool clawed a goal back through Daniel Sturridge, United cruised through with Wayne Rooney failing to beat Simon Mignolet with a late penalty that would have added gloss to the scoreline. Liverpool boss Rodgers accepted Gerrard's apology. "It is good of someone when they do get sent off to come out and apologise but he was probably very frustrated watching us in the first half and he was man enough to come out," Rodgers told reporters. "With Steven it was purely that he wanted to make an impact and he has apologised for it. "You suffer with 10 against 11 and it was great respect to the players on the team who kept fighting. The players showed immense responsibility and spirit to keep the game going until the end." Defeat left Liverpool five points behind United in the battle for a top-four finish and a spot in next season's Champions League.