Brendan Rodgers believes his side were wrongly denied a late penalty in their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea…
Liverpool slumped to a third consecutive defeat on Saturday as runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea overturned an early deficit to secure all three points at Anfield.
The hosts made the brighter start and even took the lead through a deflected 9th minute Emre Can strike, the German’s first goal since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.
It was a short-lived advantage however as the Londoners equalised five minutes later, through Gary Cahill, before firmly taking control of proceedings in the second half.
Spanish international Diego Costa converted what would prove to be the winner in the 67th minute but the main talking point arrived in the dying minutes when a goal-bound Steven Gerrard effort clearly struck the arm of Cahill inside the penalty area.
Frustratingly for the Reds, referee Anthony Taylor decided to ignore the incident, despite being perfectly placed, and Liverpool were consequently denied a golden chance to equalise from the spot.
It was a decision that understandably upset manager Brendan Rodgers, not to mention the majority of the sellout crowd.
“It’s a big decision in a big game that we didn’t get,” reflected Rodgers at his post-match press conference. “I wasn’t even in doubt.
“My players gave everything today. They deserved something from it and if we weren’t going to get it in open play, then certainly we should have had it from the penalty spot, so we’re disappointed we didn’t get that.
“But that’s where we are at, at the moment. We’re not getting the rub of the green and it’s been a tough week in terms of results.
“These players are so committed and they are giving everything, but we’re not getting that bit of good fortune that you need.”
Defeat, coupled with results elsewhere over the weekend, means the Merseysiders slip to 11th in the standings.
Despite their ongoing difficulties, Rodgers remains firmly focused on securing a second consecutive top four finish.
“We had the possession and enough territory but maybe lacked a bit once we arrived into the important areas of the field,” assessed the Northern Irishman.
“That’s something we have shown in my time here – we have been a creative force and dynamic in creating chances and getting goals. Today, the players worked very hard to get it into the areas but we just couldn’t quite find the final pass or touch.
“At the moment it’s difficult for us because we’re not getting results and it has been a tough week. The [international] break probably comes at a good time for us; we’re hoping we can get one or two injuries back after that, then look to get on a run, because that’s going to be important for us.
“Our focus is very much on getting into the top four. That was the key for us this year with the considerable change we’ve had, and we still have a big possibility to do that.”
The result also leaves the 41-year-old open to further condemnation after his decision to make wholesale changes in the midweek loss to Real Madrid failed to yield a positive result against the Blues.
Quizzed on the matter, Rodgers acknowledged: “The changes raised a lot of criticism in the week, which I can take – there’s no issue with that.
“What I thought was unfair was the disservice to the players, because Kolo Toure is not a reserve player, he’s an experienced player. He’s played in the Champions League and played very, very well for us.
“Adam Lallana is a full international player and Lucas Leiva is a Brazilian international player. I made the call, the players have been brilliant in their approach to the games and we just haven’t got the results.
“There is pressure on when you don’t get the result, but I can only refocus now and it’s important we get back to winning ways after the international break.”
Liverpool’s next fixture is against Crystal Palace on November 23. It will feel like a long wait.
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