Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has branded the performance of referee Phil Dowd as “embarrassing” after watching his side lose 2-1 to Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
The away side were the dominant force for the majority of the tie, but failed to find the required quality in the final third to overturn the two-goal lead Spurs built up inside 16 minutes.
But Rodgers believes his side “never got the rub of the green” from Dowd, pointing to the “assault” on Steven Gerrard by Mousa Dembele and insisting the Clint Dempsey “dived” to win the free kick which led to Tottenham’s second goal.
“We never got the rub of the green,” Rodgers told Sky Sports News.
“It was a little embarrassing. [We had] two clear penalties. [Dembele] on Steven Gerrard was bordering on assault, never mind a tackle. It was frightening how we got never the penalty for that. Then Luis Suarez got kicked by Gallas.
“Then, for the second [Tottenham] goal, the player dived. Clint Dempsey falls over without any contact. So, everything that went against us – decisions and what not – I just really want to concentrate on my players. They were brilliant tonight.”
He added in the post-match press conference afterwards: “They say it evens itself out over the season, so if that’s true we’re going to get a hell of a lot of decisions in the second half of the season.”
Liverpool managed 17 shots on goal throughout the game, with Suarez having an effort cleared off the line, Jordan Henderson missing an open goal in the first half and Jose Enrique going close with a blistering drive from 35 yards at the death.
And Rodgers hailed the performance of his players, commending their resolve to boss proceedings despite trailing for the majority of the game.
He added: “I thought we were absolutely magnificent tonight. I don’t think we can come here and play any better. We would have been disappointed if we drew the game but to have actually lost it is bitterly disappointing. [The players] were absolutely fantastic.
“We started reasonably well in the game with the ball but we found ourselves 2-0 behind very quickly in the game and that can be difficult, but the reaction of the team for the rest of the game was relentless. Our overall play was outstanding but we were unfortunate we couldn’t, at least, get the draw.”