Ranting Dalglish sees red over referee's 'joke' decisions

Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 1

anfield

For the 11th time this season, Liverpool failed to win at Anfield and for the 11th time Kenny Dalglish sat in what was once the boot room and is now a press centre and talked of luck, frustration and refereeing decisions.

Aston Villa were pummelled relentlessly by a side that finished with four specialist strikers. If you count the move that led to Luis Suarez's late equaliser, Liverpool struck the frame of the goal four times, taking their tally for the season to 27. When the referee, Michael Oliver, signalled the end, James Collins's muscles and those of the rest of his back four would have ached like those of a boxer who had spent too many rounds on the ropes.

Dalglish was in no mood to claim a moral victory. After six defeats in seven matches, Liverpool needed real wins. The frustration was unbearable; he denounced Oliver for failing to award a penalty when a ball appeared to strike the arm of Villa's American defender, Eric Lichaj, and for booking Suarez for diving.

If it was pointed out to Dalglish that Lichaj had his back to goal when the ball hit him and that Suarez possesses a serial offender's form for falling to the ground, he was in no mood to listen. A month's worth of defeats does that to a manager.

He claimed that Oliver had told Dirk Kuyt that Lichaj had been "unlucky". "I have never seen a penalty given by a referee when he said a boy was unlucky," Dalglish said. "What chance have we got?

"Suarez was booked for diving and their guy [Stephen Ireland] trod on him. That is a joke because you can imagine the headlines tomorrow. He has been booked for diving and he is lucky he has not broken his foot.

"There have been an awful lot of coincidences if you go over the last three games and the number of decisions that have not gone our way.

"The danger is that paranoia will set in and you think there is an agenda against our football club. When you are refused a penalty because the referee thinks your opponent was unlucky, then what can you do? We have integrity but maybe we are going about it the wrong way. Perhaps we should shout our mouths off and complain about things."

Since a fortnight ago Dalglish had sat in the same room and claimed that Suarez's punching of the ball into the net should have been allowed, maybe paranoia is stalking the corridors of Anfield. Liverpool were unlucky, not in the non-award of a penalty but because they battered their opponents and emerged with a point. However, once more they failed to make superior resources tell.

That they were facing one of the few Premier League sides that could claim to be in worse form than themselves could only have made the bruise more livid. This was a contest between two animals baring their gums at one another and it was Aston Villa who bit first.

Pepe Reina's dismissal at Newcastle meant that this was Alexander Doni's first game of the season and when he flapped at a cross from Stephen Warnock it seemed it would not be worth the wait. Barry Bannan played it incisively to Chris Herd, who swept his shot into the net beneath the Kop. The game was 10 minutes old and the young Australian had scored his first goal for Villa.

Thereafter, Doni was barely troubled, although the same could not be said for Shay Given. The Irishman made any number of remarkable interventions, deflecting Kuyt's sliding shot on to the post in the first half and later trying to deal with Steven Gerrard's crosses which, in the words of the Aston Villa manager, Alex McLeish, were "undefendable".

One was met by Suarez who possesses an astonishing leap for a small man. The ball struck the post and scooted across the face of the goal before Given pushed it away. In between all this, Kuyt had somehow contrived to miss from two yards.

The breakthrough came with eight minutes remaining. Craig Bellamy had just skimmed the post and then another superlative cross from Gerrard was headed against the crossbar by Daniel Agger and nodded in by Suarez. It seemed justice of sorts had been done, although Dalglish begged to differ.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Doni; Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique (Agger 76); Henderson, Gerrard, Shelvey (Bellamy 65), Downing (Carroll 65); Kuyt, Suarez.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Given; Hutton, Collins, Baker, Lichaj; Bannan (Carruthers 86), Herd, Ireland, Warnock; Heskey (Gardner 58), Agbonlahor.

Referee Michael Oliver.

Man of the match Collins (Aston Villa).

Match rating 7/10.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition