Saturday 19th August 2006


Riise injury upset reds rhythm

Rafa and Neil Warnock have had different reactions to today's 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane.

Rafa Benitez clearly felt the penalty decision for us was correct, and that Sheffield United's defender was lucky to stay on the pitch.

"For me it was a clear penalty," says the Reds boss. "Our player (Gerrard) said he felt contact so it was a penalty, simple as that. Also, if it was a penalty then the defender should have been shown a red card because he was the last man.

"But if you want to analyse the game for the penalty decision then you must look at a lot of the other incidents also. There were a lot of fouls and we lost two players in the first half."

When pressed over the final score, Rafa clearly sensed that a point wasn't good enough.

"We didn't play well in the first half. We didn't pass the ball well and found it hard to get in behind their defence. They pressed high and it was difficult for us at times.

"But on the positive side I felt we were much better in the second half. It's not the best start to the season for us but it's a long race. People say it's a marathon, we've only got one point but there's a long way to go."

Meanwhile the Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock was disappointed his team let the reds back in to the game.

'We just worked hard all week,'' he told Sky Sports.

"The top referees get paid to make the right decisions but he made the wrong one there.

"I thought Rob (Styles) had a good game to be fair but no way was that a penalty.

"He had given advantage if there was a foul in the first place, then he gave the penalty so he has given everything there."

While lamenting Styles' decision Warnock was, though, delighted with his side's exertions in what was an encouraging display from the Premiership new boys.

"I'm delighted - disappointed with what happened, but we have to get used to that. It was a good start, a good point."

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