Brendan Rodgers furious with referee after 'assault' on Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard by Tottenham

Liverpool make fight of it but are unable to recover from going 2-0 down

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was fuming after his side were denied a penalty for a near “assault” on Steven Gerrard in last night's 2-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur but believes the Reds will reap a raft of spot kicks in the second half of the season.

Liverpool, who have yet to be awarded a penalty in their 14 games so far this season, saw their eight-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League come to an end at White Hart Lane.

Rodgers was incensed after referee Phil Dowd turned down penalty appeals for challenges on skipper Gerrard and Luis Suarez and said Liverpool had been getting the raw end of decisions all season long.

"Gerrard's was nearly assault, how was that not a penalty?" he asked. "Second one, Suarez spins and William Gallas swings his left foot and he goes down.

"We know we need to be more clinical but to arrive at this stage of the season and not have had a penalty - I don't know what the players have to do.

"It racks up the points and I hear people and pundits say it evens itself out over the season - so the second half of the season we're going to get a lot of decisions."

The home side had the better of the first half and Gareth Bale's strong run and cross allowed Aaron Lennon to put them ahead in the seventh minute.

Bale doubled the lead 10 minutes later with a free-kick that wrongfooted keeper Pepe Reina but he gifted Liverpool a lifeline 18 minutes from time when Lennon's goalline hack smacked him in the face and flew in for a painful own goal.

Rodgers praised Liverpool's performance on the night and predicted improvement from their current 12th place in the Premier League, though he cautioned that it would take time to build a squad capable of challenging for titles.

"The performance level and our tempo and rhythm were relentless. If we keep playing like that, we'll climb up the table," Rodgers said, adding that fans should not expect the club to solve all their problems in the next transfer window.

"January won't be the answer to everything, this is a process that's going to take time."

Liverpool host struggling Southampton on Saturday.

Reuters

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