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Rodgers insists Liverpool deserved better against Everton and hits out at referee Atkinson

first_imgBrendan Rodgers refused to criticise his Liverpool players after Everton snatched a dramatic late point from the Merseyside derby, and instead directed his anger towards referee Martin Atkinson.A superb second-half free-kick from captain Steven Gerrard looked to have secured a first Premier League victory for the Reds since the end of August.But the home side were agonisingly denied a much-needed three points by their near rivals after a stunning long-range strike from defender Phil Jagielka in stoppage time.The home side had missed numerous chances before Jagielka’s last-gasp leveller, but Rodgers insisted he was pleased with the level of performance from his players.“We didn’t get what we deserved,” he claimed. “We were much the better side today and when you concede a goal late on like that it probably epitomises the luck that went against us today.“I’m very proud of the players. The intensity was getting back up to near where we have been for 18 months. Tactically, I thought we were good in the game, and we defended well.“The performance, which I’m clearly looking at at the moment, was at a much better level than we have been at. I never felt in any danger.”And Rodgers felt the decision not to award his side a penalty early on, when Raheem Sterling’s rising shot struck the arm of Gareth Barry, proved critical to the outcome.“That was nearly a save,” he said. “I don’t know what Martin was thinking because he had a good look at it.“When your arms are up above your head and you stop it as blatant as that, how it is not a penalty I’ll never know.”last_img read more