• Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool, FA Cup

Rodgers: Howard Webb has denied us 'blatant' penalties

ESPN staff
February 16, 2014
Brendan Rodgers on Howard Webb

Brendan Rodgers was left extremely frustrated at Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup loss to Arsenal on Sunday, admitting he thought his side deserved at least a replay from the tie.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski scored the goals to see Arsenal through at the Emirates Stadium, with Steven Gerrard giving the away side hope with a second half penalty.

Liverpool were denied a second penalty when Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to clatter Luis Suarez in the box, but referee Howard Webb waved away the protests despite being in extremely close proximity to the incident.

Rodgers was disappointed with Webb's refusal to award a second spot-kick, believing the foul on Suarez was more blatant than the first.

"I've not spoken to Howard because it can't affect the result now but it would be nice to know why it wasn't given as it was the defining moment in the game," he said.

"Howard was also the referee at Chelsea when Eto'o brought Luis down.

"With the type of player Suarez is and the aggression in our offensive play, we provoke a lot of challenges - especially Luis - who is always around the box asking questions of defenders.

"Quite a lot of times he doesn't get what he deserves.

"The one at Chelsea was a clear penalty and though he's got one today he should have had two.

"If it's a penalty he should get it, irrespective of his reputation. He's a guy that's been clean and is throwing everything into his game. For me, that was quite an easy decision."

Immediately after the full-time whistle, Rodgers told BT Sport: "I thought the best team lost. I thought the very least we deserved was a replay. We probably should have been 2-0 up inside those first six or seven minutes.

"Going forward we were outstanding. I'm disappointed with the goals, the first one in particular was just a long ball into the box.

"But, apart from that, going forward we were a real a threat and are bitterly disappointed not to get something and not to get another penalty, which I though was a blatant penalty.

"It was probably more clear and blatant than the first. I'm not sure because just after the first but it was certainly a clear penalty. Now we have got one competition to focus on for the rest of the season and have to really focus on these last 12 league games."

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger was coy over the incident but expressed his pleasure over the performance from his team following their recent heavy Premier League loss at Anfield.

"I have seen the incident and will have to look again - maybe, maybe not," Wenger said. "Liverpool are a good side and showed it again today. It was a great game. The intensity of the performance pleased me, I am very proud of the way we responded to the huge defeat that we had [at Anfield] last week."

Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted it was important to recover from their 5-1 defeat to Rodgers' side, but remained sheepish over Webb's decision not to penalise his challenge on Suarez.

"Especially after the result away, we knew we had to turn it around and put in a display," Oxlade-Chamberlain said. "My goal got us off to a good start. We did well to keep it together and hold on.

"There are penalty shouts in most games. You just have to worry about the ones that are given and thankfully that one didn't. We have got a massive game (against Bayern Munich) on Wednesday and this win is a confidence boost."

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