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Sep 24, 2012

Gerrard: Refereeing decisions cost us

Steven Gerrard believes that referee Mark Halsey got the major decisions wrong as Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.

• Evra: Shaking hands was a must
• Ref Halsey suffers Twitter abuse
• Blog: Utd win on emotional day

Jonjo Shelvey was sent off in the first half for a challenge on Jonny Evans, and Luis Suarez had a second-half penalty appeal rejected, before United won the game with a dubious Robin van Persie spot kick.

Defeat has left Liverpool in the bottom three with just two points from five games, but fans chanted their support for manager Brendan Rodgers towards the end.

And Gerrard, who gave ten-man Liverpool the lead before United's fightback, was full of criticism for Halsey's performance.

"The lads performed really well both with 11 men and after we went down to 10," he told the Daily Post. "In these big games you need the rub of the green and things to go your way. You certainly don't need big refereeing decisions that are wrong going against you. That's what happened today and we feel hard done by."

Shelvey's red card followed after a two-footed lunge on Evans, however the Northern Ireland international appeared to dive into the challenge with both feet raised as well.

"I feel for Jonjo a bit. It's a big game and these games are about big tackles," Gerrard added. "I don't think he got the tackle wrong. If his tackle is wrong, then Evans' tackle is wrong as well. That's the consistency we're looking for from referees and Mark Halsey got that one wrong.

"We gave everything and came away with nothing. You can't criticise or point any fingers in the dressing room when the lads perform like that."

Shelvey, who angrily jabbed his finger at Sir Alex Ferguson after being shown the red card, took to Twitter afterwards to accuse Ferguson of getting him sent off, a claim the Manchester United manager dismissed.

He tweeted: "I apologise to the fans for getting sent off but no way was I pulling out of that tackle in a game of that importance. I'm sorry. I have also apologised to Sir Alex. Just where I come from, people don't grass people up to get someone sent off."

Ferguson, however, argued that the sending off was the right decision after the match.

"Jonjo Shelvey's sending off was a clear red card, there was a dangerous attempt to go for the ball," he said. "Jonny Evans went for the ball and got it, and I don't think there was any other decision referee could make. He blamed me! But he is young and he will realise the stupidity of it."

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