Steven Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's trip on Luis Suarez was a "stonewall" penalty during Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, but has called on his teammates to must make sure that their controversial exit does not derail their season.
The Anfield captain had already scored with a spot-kick after Lukas Podolski tripped Luis Suarez, and the Uruguayan was again felled inside the area by Oxlade-Chamberlain only for referee Howard Webb to wave play on.
Brendan Rodgers described it as a “blatant” penalty, and while Gerrard agreed with his manager, he insists his focus is now on ensuring that the club secure a place in Champions League for the first time since 2009.
“In my opinion it was a stonewall penalty,” he said. “It was even more blatant than the penalty which was awarded. The referee was very close to the incident. It’s one you expect to get.
“Howard Webb is a top referee and I’m sure he will have a look at it himself. He obviously did not think it was a foul, but I am disappointed with the decision. It was a big decision that didn’t go our way. That might have been the goal to give us a replay.”
The Reds occupy fourth spot in the Premier League -- the final Champions League qualification place -- and Gerrard says they must keep up their fine record at Anfield against Swansea on Sunday to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
“The way we’re playing at the moment, we’re a match for anyone,” he continued. “Going forward, we look so dangerous and we are creating more than enough chances to win games.
“People are talking about us being a top side and rightly so. We need to bounce back quickly -- that’s what top sides do after a setback.
“They don’t feel sorry for themselves, they look to the future and focus on getting back to winning ways. I know going out of the cup won’t have a negative impact on the league.
“Our home form has been excellent and we need to continue that by taking maximum points at Anfield next Sunday.”
The Reds are currently three points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, with city rivals Everton eight points behind with a game in hand.