Rodgers blames referee as ‘the best team lost’
LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers insisted the best team lost and blamed mistakes by referee Mark Halsey for contributing to their first home defeat by Manchester United since 2007.
The Anfield side dominated for the majority of the match, even after Jonjo Shelvey’s 39th-minute red card for a two-footed lunge on Jonny Evans, but lost 2-1. Steven Gerrard’s volley gave his team the lead seconds after the interval but Rafael curled in an equaliser before Robin van Persie scored United’s first penalty of the season after Glen Johnson was adjudged to have brought down Antonio Valencia.
However, Rodgers took issue with the sending-off, the penalty and Halsey’s decision not to award Liverpool a spot-kick when Luis Suarez went down in the second half. “We are bitterly disappointed with the result. I thought the best team lost,” he said. “Of what we could control I thought the players and performance level were outstanding. What we couldn’t control were decisions by the referee. If Shelvey gets sent off for having both feet off the ground then Evans has to get sent off for that as well.
“Jonjo is coming in from the side, it is a tackle the player has to go for and one the United player has to go for but the Liverpool player can’t get sent off and the United one stay on the field. It was very harsh and that was how it was throughout the game as a number of poor decisions went against us.
“The penalty was never a penalty. Johnson has made a fantastic recovery and I have no idea why Valencia goes down. Up the other end Suarez gets a toe on the ball, gets contact, goes down and doesn’t get the penalty. It was a day where we never got any decision which could have helped us at all and when you lose a man you need some help.”
As Shelvey left the field, he had an angry exchange with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The player apologised for the tackle but not for his reaction. “I apologise to the fans for getting sent off but no way was I pulling out of that tackle in a game of that importance. I’m sorry,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ferguson was bemused by the 20-year-old’s reaction. “He blamed me! But he is young and he will realise the stupidity of it,” said the Scot. “Jonny Evans went for the ball but Shelvey was nowhere near and could have given Jonny Evans a really bad injury – he was very lucky actually.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east