Steven Gerrard sticks fingers up at referee Andre Marriner

Most managers would be appalled if their captain stuck two fingers up at the referee for booking them, particularly when the yellow card was totally justified.

As the FA try and enforce their Respect the Referee campaign, it doesn’t say an awful lot when the player who captained the England national team just last week is showing such obvious disrespect for the referee.

Wayne Rooney has been booked for sarcastically applauding a referee before now, which meant he was sent off, a punishment which at least matched Gerrard’s crime.

However, Rafael Benitez has launched a defence that even Gerrard’s lawyers would be proud of.

“Sometimes you move your fingers. It was nothing. We are not considering it, it was nothing.”

Of course. Sometimes you just move your fingers. We all do it. Everybody moves their fingers and that is all Gerrard did.

The defence rests, your honour.

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