x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Kenny Dalglish claims referee was wrong for Everton goals

The Liverpool manager rues luck in the drawn Merseyside derby.

Everton’s Seamus Coleman, left, and Liverpool’s  Glen Johnson battle for the ball during yesterday’s 2-2 draw.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman, left, and Liverpool’s Glen Johnson battle for the ball during yesterday’s 2-2 draw.

LIVERPOOL // Kenny Dalglish bemoaned Liverpool's luck as he argued both of Everton's goals in the 215th Merseyside derby should not have stood.

The 59-year-old recorded his first point in his second spell at Anfield, courtesy of a Dirk Kuyt penalty, but he was unhappy with Phil Dowd, the referee, after Everton struck twice in seven minutes at the start of the second half, following Raul Meireles's 29th-minute opener.

Dalglish believed the officials were wrong to award the corner that Sylvain Distin headed in and also that Victor Anichebe should have been penalised for a challenge on Martin Kelly before Jermaine Beckford put Everton ahead.

He said: "The first goal is a goal kick, not a corner. The second one, Kelly got battered. Maybe some days you get them. Possibly you could say we deserved a bit more but at this moment in time, there's not a great deal of good fortune. We played well enough to get three points. Sometimes it's a cruel hand you get."

Dalglish was given a rousing reception as he managed Liverpool at Anfield for the first time since 1991 and he expressed his gratitude. "There's always been a great relationship between the Dalglish family and the Liverpool supporters and that won't ever change," he said. "It was appreciated."

The Scot believes that confidence is returning to his squad and praised the players for the way they have reacted to the new regime at Anfield.

"When there's a change in management, there's a change in philosophy, in training, in how to approach matches and they have got to adapt to that," he said. "I think there's some belief coming back in."

David Moyes, the Everton manager, admitted some of his players were overawed early on in their first derby at Anfield but felt they got to grips with things for the start of the second half.

"I am disappointed we didn't take all three points after the second half but delighted to only come in 1-0 down after the first half because Liverpool were the better team," he said.

"In the first half we never got to the pitch of the game.

"Liverpool won all the duels so it needed a word to correct it at half time and in the second half we were terrific."

sports@thenational.ae