Liverpool lost 2-1 to Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday after Robin van Persie converted a late penalty to sink Brendan Rodgers’ side. The Reds were reduced to 10 men shortly before half-time after Jonjo Shelvey was shown a red card following a challenge with defender Jonny Evans.
However Liverpool dominated for the majority of the match, even after Jonjo Shelvey’s 39th-minute red card and still took a 46th minute lead when skipper Steven Gerrard ,whose 10-year-old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the youngest fan to die at Hillsborough volleyed home from near the penalty spot.
Rodgers told his post-match press conference:
“I’m bitterly disappointed with the result – I thought the best team lost. What we could control, I thought the players and the performance level was outstanding. What you can’t control is decisions by the referee. We’re bitterly disappointed it didn’t go our way today, but performance wise I thought the players were outstanding. We dominated the majority of the game, even with 10 men, but it didn’t go our way.”
The boss also admits he was disappointed by refereeing decisions that saw Shelvey sent off and Antonio Valencia win a penalty.
“It’s a tackle a player has to go for. It’s also a tackle the Manchester United player has to go for – but the Liverpool player can’t get sent off for it and the Manchester United player stay on the field. I thought it was a very, very harsh decision and throughout the game that’s how it went for us. A number of decisions went against us and that [the sending off] ended up costing us the game. I think everyone will see it was never a penalty. Glen Johnson has made a fantastic recovery run back in and I don’t know why Valencia goes down. It was certainly never a penalty. Then, at the other end, Luis Suarez gets a toe to the ball looking to go around the defender, he gets the contact, goes down and doesn’t get a penalty. I feel Mark Halsey completely got wrong with his decision today. Both of Halsey’s decision to dismiss Jonjo Shelvey as well as to award penalty which Robin van Persie converted was a joke. The sending off clearly ended up costing us the game.”