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What They Said: Rodgers faces backlash, Mancini rocked

ESPN staff
April 21, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Luis Suarez could face action from the FA after appearing to bite Branislav Ivanovic © Getty Images
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers faces the backlash of another controversial incident involving Luis Suarez, despite seeing the striker score a late goal to snatch a point in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield.

Suarez appeared to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but Rodgers stated he will review the incident before making further comment.

"The only comment at this stage is that we'll review the video of that then I'll make a comment after," Rodgers told Sky Sports. "I have just come in from the game. Once I've looked at that and reviewed it we'll make a comment then."

The incident marred a spirited second-half performance from the Reds, which saw Daniel Sturridge score against his former club to answer Oscar's early header, before Eden Hazard put Chelsea ahead from the spot. Rodgers believes that it was Sturridge who made the difference for his side.

"His passing, movement, goal and pressing were phenomenal," Rodgers told BBC Sport. "We made two mistakes for the goals, it was a poor first goal to give away as a header should not go in from that angle and the second was a penalty.

"We kept going, created chances and eventually we made the breakthrough. We score a lot of our goals late on, we talk about keeping going on into injury time."

Rafael Benitez was left bemoaning the six added minutes of injury time at the end of the second half, but admitted that he was touched by the reception he received from his former home fans before the game.

"It is one point, but when you are winning in the last second, it is incredible to play six minute and 45 seconds of injury time," Benitez said. "You do not see that. It does not matter, you cannot change things.

"They can give you 20 explanations. You have to give credit to Liverpool as they were pushing. It was quite emotional to return with the things outside the pitch and the fans. I am really pleased with the reception."

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was delighted with his player's efforts in his side's 3-1 victory over defending champions Manchester City, which saw Spurs climb within a point of Chelsea.

Goals from Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale stunned City in seven second-half minutes as the home team ran out 3-1 winners at White Hart Lane.

"I must praise the team for their fighting spirit and it was great to see them turn it around in the second half because the first half was not to our level," Villas-Boas told Sky Sports. "We improved dramatically and the players were fantastic to get this result.

"It comes down to the character of the players. All three that came on showed that desire and ambition to help the team, and in the end we were able to punish them."

And Villas-Boas believes that the result could well prove significant at the business end of the season, as Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea all battle for a Champions League place.

"It is very competitive and will probably go down to the wire," Villas-Boas added. "It was important for us to win today. Arsenal play Manchester United next week and that is an important fixture.

Gareth Bale scored the third as Tottenham stunned Manchester City © Getty Images
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"We have to continue getting as many points as possible and see if the decisive fixture is that game against Chelsea."

City boss Roberto Mancini was left staggered at his side's collapse, with defeat all but sealing the Premier League title for rivals Manchester United.

Despite Samir Nasri's early goal, City could not capitalise and defeat means the title could change hands on Monday night if United defeat Aston Villa.

"It is incredible that we lost this game because we had everything under control for 80 minutes," Mancini said. "We had a lot of chances to score a second goal, but this is football. If you don't close the game it can happen like today."

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