• Premier League

Rodgers: Halsey cost us the game

ESPN staff
September 23, 2012

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers complained referee Mark Halsey cost his side the game after their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

The Liverpool manager was unhappy with Halsey's decision to dismiss Jonjo Shelvey as well as the award of the penalty that Robin van Persie converted in the 81st minute, saying Luis Suarez should also have been given a spot-kick.

And Rodgers felt both sides could have been down to ten men before half-time when Jonny Evans escaped unpunished from the challenge that resulted in Shelvey's departure.

"Decisions didn't go our way today. If Jonjo Shelvey gets sent off, Jonny Evans has to get sent off as well," Rodgers said. "It is a tackle the player has to go for and also one the Manchester United player has to go for. But the Liverpool player can't get sent off and the Manchester United player stay on the field. There were a number of poor decisions."

Shelvey took to Twitter after the game to post a still image of the red card incident, which showed Evans going into the tackle two-footed. However, the Reds midfielder also apologised to supporters for his sending off and for shouting towards United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as he left the pitch.

"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," Shelvey said.

"I have also apologised to Sir Alex, just where I come from people don't grass people up to get someone sent off."

United's match-winning penalty came when Antonio Valencia went clear from the halfway line and tumbled under a challenge from Glen Johnson. Van Persie converted from the spot to hand the three points to the visitors.

"It was never a penalty," Rodgers added. "Glen Johnson has made a fantastic recovery run back in and I don't know why Valencia goes down. Up the other end, Luis Suarez gets the contact [from Evans], goes down and doesn't get a penalty."

Liverpool lost Fabio Borini and Daniel Agger to injuries and Rodgers added: "Fabio had a badly swollen ankle that he was struggling to put any force on. We have to wait and see about Daniel Agger. It didn't look too good with his knee. Some of the medics were saying he might have a problem with his medial ligament."

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