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  • Premier League: What They Said

Fellaini 'deserves whatever punishment he gets'

ESPN staff
December 15, 2012
Liverpool came off second best against Aston Villa © PA Photos
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Premier League round-up: Man Utd cruise, Liverpool stunned by Villa

After seeing his side comfortably beaten by Aston Villa at home, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted his shock at the display. He said: "It's a disappointing result and performance from us. I don't know where that came from as it's not been like us. We were careless with our final ball and didn't end up taking our chances.

"We will have to take that as a bad day at the office and move on. I felt today we probably weren't quite sharp enough. It was a clear penalty [when Ciaran Clark pulled Daniel Agger's shirt] and if you get that it is 2-1 and the pressure can start to build. But they got their third and we went a bit flat. Overall, we didn't do enough and we must learn from it and move on."

Paul Lambert, meanwhile, hopes the result will spark a real revival for Villa: "I thought we were outstanding. I thought we looked a threat with Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann and thought we deserved the win. We have been on a terrific run and collectively we have been brilliant. Hopefully, we can continue to climb the table."

Sir Alex Ferguson was happy with a regulation 3-1 win against Sunderland at home - although he warned against complacency. He said: "For an hour we were fantastic. Some of our football was very good and we could have scored lots of goals. But I don't know what happened after that because Sunderland could have had two or three towards the end, it could have been embarrassing. I don't know if we were relaxed or Sunderland picked up the baton 20 minutes from time."

Martin O'Neill attempted to see the positives for Sunderland, noting: "It was a difficult first half because I felt we gifted them their goals. The last thing you want to do is give them confidence, but we kept going in the second half. We can take a lot of heart and a lot of encouragement from our second half performance."

Harry Redknapp decided to massage the ego of his matchwinner, Adel Taarabt, after QPR gained their first win over the season against Norwich. He said: "Taarabt is an amazing talent, I sold him at Tottenham but I never wanted to do that. He is a fantastic footballer, he has the ability to be up there with the best. He has all the ability in the world. I thought it was one of the all-round great individual performances. Everything he did was top class. He has all the talent to be whatever he wants to be."

Fulham boss Martin Jol, who had warned his players of the possibility of defeat, was understandably disappointed: "The boys will be frustrated as the play they came up with today was not good enough and they all realise that. Our quality is playing it out from the back and linking up in midfield, but today we could not do that. We could not get the ball forward. Sometimes you have to vary your game, and we did that last week. It was disappointing to see Taarabt's cheap goal, but I cannot complain as we did not deserve a lot today."

Everton manager David Moyes did not defend Marouane Fellaini, after the Belgian was caught on camera - but not by the referee - headbutting Ryan Shawcross. Moyes said: ""He deserves to get the punishment. I've seen it, it's a terrible thing to do and I expect him to be punished. It's down to the FA. I've told him it's not acceptable and whatever he gets, he and us deserve it."

Tony Pulis was happy to get a draw from the game, but was upset after another violent incident against his players. He said: "I'll let David deal with Marouane Fellaini but the one thing I will say is we have now had three incidents this season. David Luiz for Chelsea made a poor challenge and Ciaran Clark at Aston Villa made a poor challenge and that, along with this today, are three incidents where we haven't had a decision go for us and that's disappointing. In my opinion all three of these incidents should been sending offs."

Norwich manager Chris Hughton was pleased to see his side extend their unbeaten run to 10 games with a victory over Wigan. He said: "It's a team effort, there's a real team desire to win football matches. Generally our form has been good all season, but sometimes there's something that changes - we beat Arsenal here and sometimes it's those pivotal moments. But it's mainly about a group of players working hard and working together for the club."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was unhappy, as his side slipped into the relegation zone. He said: "Our start was sluggish and pedestrian, we were very, very, very poor and had our goalkeeper to thank for keeping us in the game. The second half was very different, we started to control the game and Norwich had to start to defend.

"We scored a beautiful goal and were starting to build positive momentum, so our disappointment is the smallest man on the pitch gets a free header in the six-yard box. I felt with our second-half performance we merited something out of the game, but it was a self-inflicted defeat."

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