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Oct, 30, 2012

Gerrard criticises 'direct' Everton

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has accused Everton of being 'a very direct team', as the dust refuses to settle on Sunday's stormy Merseyside derby.

• Blog: Stats prove Gerrard wrong
• Gerrard berates Neville
• Jolly: Suarez centre of attention

Gerrard and his team-mates were furious after they were denied what was a legitimate last minute winner as what proved to be a misplaced offside flag ruled out Luis Suarez's 'goal'. Yet it is the comments from the normally reserved Liverpool skipper that are likely to resonate around Merseyside.

Gerrard knew he would cause a stir when he compared Everton to Tony Pulis' notoriously direct Stoke side, with his comments set to intensify the debate between blue and red on Merseyside that is still rumbling after the 2-2 draw.

"There was only one team who came into the derby trying to play football," Gerrard said. "Everton are effective because they have some big physical lads in the team and are very direct, but the only team who tried to play football was us.

"I thought we stood up to a team that are very similar to Stoke. Every single time they get the ball at the goalkeeper it comes in long. We had a young, small team and they were all men and stood together. We deserved the win."

The statistics from the four-goal thriller do not back up Gerrard's claim, as they prove that Everton had more possession and hit fewer long balls than Liverpool over the course of the game, but he has certainly caused controversy with his accusations.

Meanwhile, Gerrard admitted the feeling of frustration in the Liverpool dressing room following Suarez's disallowed last gasp strike is continuing to linger, as he claimed the officials made a huge error.

"There is no offside and it's difficult for me to explain it," he said. "The only person who can explain it is the linesman. I asked him after the game if it was offside and he said: 'I think so'. That's not good enough.

"If every decision in this league is based on 'we think so', then we're in trouble. The linesman got it badly wrong. The benefit of the doubt is supposed to go to the attacking player anyway.

"Also, for their second goal it's a clear throw-in to us. The linesman gives us the throw but the referee saw something different. I feel sorry for our lads because I thought we were fantastic and deserved to win."

Gerrard went on to insist he had 'no problem' with the pre-match comments of David Moyes's questioning Suarez's ongoing balance issues, with the Everton boss going on to claim he had been 'badly let down' by his own captain after Phil Neville was booked for diving on Sunday.

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