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Leicester deserved a point - Rodgers frustrated by late Liverpool penalty

Sat 05 October 2019 | 18:33

Liverpool had the better chances against Leicester City at Anfield, but Brendan Rodgers felt the visitors did not deserve to lose.

Brendan Rodgers felt Liverpool were fortunate to be awarded the penalty that led to their 95th-minute winner in a game in which he believes Leicester City held their own.

Liverpool led at the break through Sadio Mane but passed up several chances to increase their advantage, leading to James Maddison levelling 10 minutes from time.

But the Premier League leaders rallied and Mane won a stoppage-time penalty as he tangled with Marc Albrighton, with James Milner clinical from the spot.

Rodgers described the award as "very soft" and suggested the VAR, with approved the referee's decision, would not have overturned the call if it had gone Leicester's way.

"To concede a 95th-minute penalty was difficult to take," the former Liverpool boss said. "I thought we deserved a point from the game.

"You come to the European champions and you have to be resilient and deal with moments of pressure and show your own qualities. I felt we did that.

"To come from behind, it looked as the half wore on, I thought we could go on and win the game. We conceded a goal when we were in control of the situation.

"I thought it was a very soft penalty - I didn't think it was a clear and obvious penalty, that's for sure. But when the referee gives it, it's probably hard for the VAR to go against it. It was disappointing.

"But I'm very proud of the team and the personality we showed against a top-class side with so many qualities. To come here and be that competitive, it shows we are very much on the right path."

He added on Mane's role in the penalty: "I think he has made the most of the contact. We're in control of the situation.

"Strikers now, modern strikers, they are clever. He has had a touch and gone over. If the referee didn't give it, I don't think anyone would have said it was a clear and obvious error. Unfortunately, it went against us."

Another of several late flashpoints saw Hamza Choudhury booked for a challenge on Mohamed Salah that saw the Liverpool man hobble off with an apparent ankle issue.

Jurgen Klopp was critical of Choudhury, who has been involved in similar previous incidents with Jonathan Bamba and Matt Ritchie, but Rodgers leapt to his defence.

"I don't think it was an overly bad challenge," Rodgers said. "Mo Salah is coming inside and the speed he travels and Hamza is coming back, there is a clash.

"I'm not sure if it looks like a dead leg or whatever? I have tried to look at it again on the images but the camera is quite a way away.

"The emotion of the game, at that time, it might seem worse than it was. He was just getting himself back. Mo Salah cuts across him and there's a collision.

"He's an honest boy, Hamza, he makes challenges, he's aggressive but I don't think there was anything malicious."

Ayoze Perez and Andy Robertson also clashed at the final whistle, yet Rodgers dismissed the incident as "nothing".

source: SportMob