Dalglish plays down touchline row after 'frustrating' Wenger

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish played down a touchline spat with Arsenal counterpart Arsène Wenger at the final whistle of the sides' 1-1 draw.

Wenger was furious that Liverpool had been awarded a penalty in the 13th minute of stoppage time, and the pair had an altercation as referee Andre Marriner finally blew his whistle for full-time, immediately after Dirk Kuyt had equalised for the visitors.

TV footage seemed to show Dalglish saying "Piss off" to Wenger, but the pair later shook hands and after the game the Liverpool temporary manager dismissed the row.

"I don't repeat what was said. I don't know why a conversation between managers on the bench is of any relevance after a game like that," Dalglish said. "I just told him there I still owe him dinner. There's no problem."

The long period of stoppage time came after Jamie Carragher had been knocked unconscious on the pitch when he had smacked his head against team-mate John Flanagan. Carragher was eventually stretchered off with his neck in a brace but had recovered in time to join his team-mates in celebration at the final whistle.

Carragher said: "I'm fine, it was a little clash of heads and these things happen in football. The main thing, and I saw it from the dressing room, was to get the three points.

"I can't remember anything. As soon as I came round I was absolutely fine. I went out on to the pitch at the end because I wanted to celebrate with the lads. I watched their penalty in the dressing room and then saw that we got our own. I was just praying that we scored because to get four points out of six from the last two games is fantastic."

Dalglish added: "He's as right as rain now, or as right as rain as he ever is."

The Liverpool manager was also unconcerned that his team's point might have handed an historic 19th title to Manchester United. "We never handed anything to anyone. In fact, we beat them 3-1 at Anfield so I don't know how we handed them anything if we beat them," he said. "We'll look after ourselves and if anyone gets any advantage from our results then so be it. We can only look after ourselves and that's what we always do. In my eyes we're still the best club in English football, if not world football."

Wenger said the result felt like a defeat, and branded Liverpool's containing tactics as defensive. "Liverpool defended very deep. We had the ball all the time. We played against eight or ten men in their half, like we do in every game here," Wenger said.

Dalglish responded by saying that he must be doing something right if Wenger is annoyed. "That's good, if we're frustrating the opposition manager. We'll take that every day of the week," he said. "We'll do the best for us that we can do. If someone else has a problem with us, I can't help them."

Dalglish paid tribute to the character of his team, which contained young players such as Flanagan, Jay Spearing, Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Robinson.

The Liverpool manager said: "I don't think there's any team anywhere that's shown the same attitude and comitment that our team showed today."

Wenger did not concede Arsenal's title hopes are over, but he did admit his team's form at home, where they have drawn their last three games, is costing them dear. "It's about us winning our games.

"We are on a 15-game unbeaten run but we have not taken enough points recently," he said. "The players are very disappointed."

Kuyt's late late show

Yesterday’s added time at the end of the second half came to a colossal 11 minutes and 52 seconds largely because of the lengthy treatment Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher received on the pitch after a clash of heads with team-mate John Flanagan. This is a Premier League record – and also means Dirk Kuyt’s last-gasp equaliser was, at 90 +12, the latest goal in the League’s history.