Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew was unhappy with the decision to appoint Andre Marriner as referee for his side’s 4-2 defeat to Liverpool.
Marriner awarded Liverpool a contentious last-minute penalty in the same fixture last season, which was converted by striker Christian Benteke – who has since moved between the two clubs – to give the Reds a 2-1 success.
The official was booed by sections of the Selhurst Park crowd during Saturday’s game and Pardew was also frustrated Marriner turned down three penalty appeals from the Eagles.
Pardew told BT Sport: “It was too open at times for us and we gifted possession a little bit too much to Liverpool.
“But there were still some decisions that went against us today. I don’t think Andre Marriner should have reffed this game. He gives the penalty last year so we’ve got a negative in our mind anyway.
“Why was Mike Riley (manager of the Professional Game Match Officials) giving him the game today? I can’t understand it.
“And then we get three penalty calls, okay they are tight but they are probably no worse than Christian’s last year so it’s just a little bit frustrating that part.”
Pardew surprisingly named £13million summer signing Andros Townsend as a substitute. He revealed afterwards he did so because the winger had asked to be re-positioned from the left wing to the right, and also that he considered Liverpool to be title contenders.
“(Townsend) wants to play on the right-hand side,” he said. “Wilf (Zaha) was terrific, it’s a tough decision. We’re missing (Pape) Soare on the left. I’m not going to say it isn’t a problem.
“I don’t know about (Liverpool) winning the league but they are certainly going to be close. The two centre-halves were terrific even if they made a mistake. That’s an area they are not so strong, but played well.
“We were a bit too open against a side as good as they are; some brilliant technical play at times.
“We didn’t start as we would have liked, as much pressure, we were defending in the last third. To concede from two set plays in unusual for us; that is something we need to address.”