After losing the opening game of the season to Tottenham Hotspur, Rafa Benitez was furious not to be awarded two penalties. Having gone 1-0 down thanks to a great Assou-Ekotto goal, Liverpool were given a lifeline when calamitous goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes charged off his line to needlessly bring down Glen Johnson, who posed no threat to the goal. Steven Gerrard happily levelled the score for Liverpool, given that this is their year. Sadly for the scousers though, Bassong took the lead three minutes later, as he out-jumped Carragher and beat Reina.
But Liverpool weren’t awarded two penalties to save their skin, so Rafael Benitez is not a happy bunny.
“Everybody could see there was a penalty against Voronin,” ranted the FSW. “It was so clear, it is unbelievable. With this referee, I knew another penalty was impossible. The fourth official is a young referee, and maybe he needs to calm down a bit. I do not know how old he is, but the fourth official is too young.”
According to The Guardian’s statistics, City and Blackburn were awarded 7 penalties last season, Liverpool and Stoke 6, Arsenal 5. And they were the lucky ones. To think that the other 15 teams in the league all were actually fouled 4 or less times in the area last season is ridiculous. Still, you have to be grateful for whatever penalty decisions you can get.
Take for example the penalty we should have been awarded against Birmingham yesterday. It wasn’t vital because we were able to score our own goals but that doesn’t make it any less a penalty that the ones Benitez wanted awarded at White Hart Lane. We weren’t awarded it though and had to win the game in spite of the referee, who was stood right there.
The Guardian: He probably should have earned a penalty. He didn’t make much of it, to his credit, and that’s perhaps why it wasn’t given.
Benitez should be grateful they were awarded one penalty – that at least saves them the embarrassment of losing 2-0 on the opening day of the season where they’re going to win the league.