• Premier League

Rodgers: Ref was right to award second penalty

ESPN staff
April 6, 2014
Brendan Rodgers is convinced Adrian's challenge on Jon Flanagan was a foul © PA Photos

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is adamant that referee Anthony Taylor was correct to award his side a second penalty during the 2-1 win at West Ham.

Liverpool moved back to the top of the Premier League table thanks to Sunday's victory at Upton Park, as Steven Gerrard struck twice from the penalty spot, either side of a Guy Demel equaliser.

Taylor caused controversy after allowing Demel's goal to stand, despite Andy Carroll appearing to hit goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in the face in the build-up to the goal.

Liverpool's second penalty also looked to be the wrong call, with West Ham goalkeeper Adrian getting a touch to the ball before bringing down Jon Flanagan.

However, Rodgers told Sky Sports: "The first penalty was clear and I thought the second one was a penalty as well. Jon gets a touch on the ball and touches it past the goalkeeper. The keeper gets a touch on the ball, but also takes him.''

Liverpool's players were angered by Taylor's decision to allow West Ham's equaliser to stand, especially as the assistant referee had raised his flag for a foul. Rodgers revealed after the game that he spoke to the official at half-time about the incident.

"I just had a quiet word and he thought the keeper had dropped it," he said.

Rodgers added: "I don't want to get fined. It was a difficult game to officiate. The nature of West Ham's style is physical, they asked a lot of questions."

The victory was Liverpool's ninth Premier League win a row and Rodgers felt his team deserved to come out on top.

"We were clearly the better team," he said. "West Ham had one shot on target which was the goal. It was a brilliant win today and keeps our run going. We've won nine games in a row, which at this level is incredible."

Gerrard's pair of penalty conversions took him to 11 for the season, and 10 in the Premier League.

"He studies the goalkeepers," said Rodgers of his captain. "He can put the ball anywhere." Liverpool face Manchester City next week in a match that has the look of a potential title decider.

"It was interesting to hear [City captain] Vincent Kompany say we were the best team they had played," Rodgers said. "We have to respect them because they have world-class players but it's about ourselves and the confidence we have to play.

"For the youngsters, there's no pressure. Just go and play and the pressure I will take. The most important thing is to focus on the ball and the team and not yourself. The concentration for me is on the next training session."

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