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Brendan Rodgers critical of referee in Arsenal defeat

Liverpool had goal controversially disallowed after Luis Suarez was cynically impeded

After yesterday's defeat left them five points behind leaders Arsenal, Liverpool boss Brendan Rogers has every reason to feel frustrated.

But one individual in particular bore the brunt of his disappointment, with the Irishman fiercely critical of referee Martin Atkinson following the final whistle.

In what turned out to be a key decision in the contest, Luis Suarez was bundled over by Bacary Sagna in the midst of a dangerous counter attack. The Uruguayan took the resulting free kick quickly, playing in Daniel Sturridge who in turn crossed for Jordan Henderson to side foot into the net.

But instead of playing the advantage in favour of the infringed team, Atkinson pulled play back and showed a yellow card to the Frenchman.

The decision left the onlooking Liverpool manager furious, especially coming as it did when Arsenal were just a goal ahead. For Rodgers, the decision contradicted hopes to keep the game flowing and prevent players from feigning injury.

"We're always asking players to be honest and get up and play, not roll about on the floor, and if they are going to be discouraged from doing that then they might stay and roll about, try to get someone a yellow card."

"That was a poor decision. I think you've got to let the game flow. "

The result was Liverpool's second loss of the season, and first away from home. Rodgers will be hoping that his team can get back to winning ways at home to Fulham next Saturday.

image: © Bernard Chan

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