LIVERPOOL manager Kenny Dalglish chose not to publicly criticise referee Howard Webb after his side’s 2-0 defeat at Anfield but claimed officials “get away scot-free” by not having to explain their decisions.
Spurs were leading through Rafael van der Vaart’s ninth-minute volley but the Reds had fought their way back into the game until just after half-time when Luka Modric’s controversial penalty put paid to their chances of a comeback.
Defender John Flanagan tangled with Steven Pienaar and Webb pointed to the spot despite the challenge appearing to be outside the area and seemingly in the teenage full-back’s favour.
Dalglish, conscious of the punishments dished out to the likes of Alex Ferguson in recent weeks, would not directly voice his concerns over Webb’s performance, which included some odd decisions.
“I’m not here to sponsor the FA,” said the Scot, clearly unhappy at the official’s handling of the game.
“It is unhelpful to everyone that we cannot express our true thoughts and it is even more disappointing the officials get away scot-free without having to come in and explain their decisions.
“I think it is safer for me to leave it at that.
“We cannot legislate for refereeing mistakes but we could have been a greater help to ourselves if we had started the game better.”
Victory gave Spurs the advantage in the race for the final Europa League place as they now have a point advantage over the Reds with a match remaining.
“They started better than we did and scored a goal and we didn’t start to play for 25 minutes,” Dalglish added.
“We started to look a bit better and then at the start of the second half they got the second goal and that gave them a real foothold and we didn’t have enough to break them down.
“We never played as well as we can. That is a disappointment because it would have been a fitting way to finish the season at Anfield.
“We feel we have short-changed the fans by not getting the result.”
Dalglish’s first home defeat since returning in January put Spurs in pole position to secure European football.
Tottenham have missed out on the Champions League, having done so well in the competition this season, but Harry Redknapp will take Europa League qualification.
“It was a big win. We had to win today to try to finish above Liverpool and we have given ourselves a chance,” he said.
“We now have a tough game against Birmingham, who need a result.
“We are not fighting for the Europa League, we are fighting to finish fifth.
“I scared them before the game by saying if we don’t win today we are top of the Fair Play League, which means we come back in two weeks’ time and start playing — they thought I was joking.
“That is going to be a nightmare for someone, I just hope it isn’t us.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved