Chelsea's frustration and rage over Luis Garcia's controversial winning goal for Liverpool in Tuesday's tumultuous Champions' League semi-final was unabated yesterday.
The captain, John Terry, claimed the assistant referee Roman Slysko made a bad decision and said the Chelsea players were adamant the ball had not crossed the line. "William Gallas was in the way of the ball from where the linesman was but he gave it," he said. "If you're not sure, then don't give a goal."
Eidur Gudjohnsen was equally critical: "I thought the official was in a very bad position to judge it. It was a brave decision - to give a goal without being sure."
The goalkeeper, Petr Cech, who possibly should have been sent off for upending Milan Baros in the build-up, added: "The linesman was standing in such a position that he simply could not see the ball as Gallas blocked it with his body. I asked him (the assistant referee) how he could be so sure."
Cech said the incident provided further evidence that video technology was needed - although even footage from four different camera angles proved inconclusive.
Nevertheless Slysko, part of the three-strong Slovakian team of officials, said he was adequately positioned adding: "My first feeling, and which I remain convinced of, is that it was a goal. It was a very hard situation and in that kind of situation a person has only a few hundredths of a second to react. I saw it clearly."
Trials are under way to provide goal-line technology. Two months ago Fifa, the governing body of world football, agreed to experiment with a ball containing a microchip. The idea will be implemented at September's under-17 World Championships in which the referee will be alerted by a bleeper-style system when the ball crosses the line, rather than a video replay.
The Football Association has already confirmed it would welcome such technology following incidents such as Pedro Mendes's 50-yard strike for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester United.
The Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said he supported the use of technology. "I think it should be brought in for whether it is the ball over the line or a foul just inside the box," he said. "These are the decisions that lose games, lose people's jobs. I don't think it would slow the game down because it does not happen that often."
The Chelsea players paid tribute to Carragher, the man of the match, with Terry calling him "magnificent" while Gudjohnsen added: "Carragher cloned himself. He was just about everywhere." The Liverpool defender deflected away Gudjohnsen's goal-bound shot in the sixth minute of injury-time. "I controlled the ball, hit it quite well and thought it was going in, but it came off Carragher's thigh," Gudjohnsen said. "I would have loved to see the net move at that moment."
The Icelander said the disappointment was greater than last season's semi-final against Monaco, while Terry claimed: "We threw it away because overall we were the better side and over the two legs we just deserved it."
Gallas said that the manager, Jose Mourinho, did not speak to the team after the match.
For Liverpool the sight of John Arne Riise cavorting around after frantically stripping down to his leopard-skin underpants was just one of the more surreal moments on the night.
Then there was John Aldridge, the former Liverpool striker, now a radio pundit, brimming with pride as he urged a bewildered Xabi Alonso out of the directors' box and down to join his team-mates on the Anfield turf.
And David Moores, the Liverpool chairman, talking as if his heart would burst with pride, while Kenny Dalglish's face was wreathed in smiles of tired emotion as Michael Owen looked on.
Carragher summed up the mood. "Chelsea have bought great players and have an excellent manager, but you can't buy fans like ours," he said. "We've got a working-class support while the majority of fans at the game last week (first leg at Stamford Bridge) are probably a bit more well-to-do.
"In my opinion, clubs which have that traditional core of working-class fans are always going to be more passionate about football. They get involved in the game a lot more and create a much better atmosphere."
Fellow defender Steve Finnan said he hoped that winning the Champions' League would be enough to see Liverpool in the competition next season even though they might finish outside the top four in the Premiership.
"We have knocked out some big teams to get here and the feeling is that we can go one more and win the trophy," he said.
Djimi Traoré, meanwhile, said Liverpool had revelled in being underdogs.Reuse content