• Premier League

Dalglish angry at referee after Suarez penalty decision

ESPNsoccernet staff
August 13, 2011 « Remarkable British pair fight way into the final | Chartbeat test »

The new Premier League season may be less than a day old but Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has already called for clarity on rules after his side's 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland.

Just five minutes into the match at Anfield Kieran Richardson brought down Luis Suarez as he rounded goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Referee Phil Dowd pointed to the spot but only booked the defender and Suarez subsequently missed the penalty.

The Uruguay international made up for it by heading in Charlie Adam's free-kick seven minutes later but despite their first-half dominance the Reds were pegged back by Sebastian Larsson's volley just after the interval.

It was the latest in a list of controversial incidents in fixtures between the two teams and Dalglish felt it raised the thorny subject of interpretation again.

"You don't want to see people sent off and I don't know what the rule book says about a clear goalscoring opportunity when Luis Suarez is one on one with the goalkeeper I don't see a clearer goalscoring opportunity than that," he said.

"They may say he is taking the ball away from goal so it is a yellow card but if you are in the middle of the goal and want to go around the goalkeeper you have to go away from goal.

"I suppose nine-and-a-half out of 10 would have given Kieran the red card but we need to know where we stand and how they are going implement the rules and word them in the books - that is what we asked for."

However, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce felt Dowd made the correct call.

"I thought the referee got it spot on," he said. "I thought the goalkeeper was going to retrieve it and Suarez was going away from goal - but on another day it could have been a red card.

"I thought Suarez had knocked it too far and I didn't think he was going to get on to it and stick it in the back of the net.

"It was more of a clumsy challenge from Kieran and we don't want to see these red cards anyway, they spoil the spectacle so I think he got it right."

Having dominated the opening 25 minutes - with Andy Carroll having what would have been a second goal chalked off for a foul - Liverpool lost their momentum and Dalglish felt a point was a fair result.

"I think over the game a draw was probably about right," added the Scot. "I think we were unlucky getting Carroll's goal knocked off but for their work and effort I think they (Sunderland) deserved a point."

Dalglish gave debuts to Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson and felt the new arrivals did well in the circumstances.

"It is a big ordeal coming out to play your first game, especially Jose as he only signed yesterday," said the Reds boss.

"We weren't anticipating playing him because Fabio (Aurelio) was in last week but he got injured yesterday so we had no choice. I think they were a bit nervous.

"Lucas has been away with Brazil and Luis has been away with Uruguay so that is seven of our players who will have a reasonable excuse."

Bruce admitted Sunderland were lucky to come in at half-time only 1-0 down, with Downing also hitting the crossbar, but was pleased with his side's response.

"We got away with it a little bit in the first 20 minutes as we gave the ball away badly but the longer the game went on the more belief we had and posed a bit of a threat," he said. "All-in-all it was a good performance."

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