Steven Gerrard took aim at Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker after claiming his Aston Villa side were hard done by against Liverpool.
Aston Villa travelled to Anfield hoping to make it four wins from five under the stewardship of Gerrard. Keeping the free-scoring Liverpool quiet would be their first port of call, and for much of the contest, Villa succeeded.
The visitors went into the break with the scores still ties at 0-0, and but for a moment of Mohamed Salah magic, the visitors may have frustrated Liverpool until the end.
The Egyptian found a rare pocket of space inside the area and drove at Tyrone Mings. After a clash of feet and a Mings grab, the referee pointed to the spot.
Villa threw numbers forward in the closing stages in search of an equaliser, but it wasn’t to be as Liverpool ensured Gerrard’s return to Anfield was a losing one, albeit narrowly.
Speaking to the BBC after the match Gerrard admitted: “I thought Liverpool were better in terms of general play.
“Their style was better than ours, but we’ve done so well to contain them for large periods. Ultimately the game has been decided by a penalty.
“There were two penalty incidents in the game, Liverpool got theirs – if you look at that one, Salah fouls Mings first.
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“It’s always hard to take when you lose football matches. We knew it was going to be a containing job. You have to ride the first 20-25 minutes against sides like this.
“We finished the game stronger, with more belief and some good opportunities.
Gerrard thinks Alisson is too protected
Villa saw their own penalty appeal waved away in the closing stages. On a rare nightmare showing for Alisson, the Brazilian swung his arm at the ball, but only managed to make contact with Ings. Nonetheless, replays showed the contact was minimal and a penalty was not awarded.
“If an arm goes anywhere near Alisson, it’s a foul,” continued Gerrard. “So why isn’t a foul given for Danny Ings? They are the questions I’d like answering, but I can’t answer them right now.
“In hindsight I should have thrown a bit more at it a bit earlier, but you have to be careful Liverpool don’t hit you for two, three or four.
“We’ve lost to a soft penalty because if you watch it properly, Tyrone’s been fouled first. The disappointing thing is that the referee hasn’t gone to look at it.
“In terms of commitment and application, I couldn’t be more pleased and proud.
“We have a tough game at Norwich in midweek. It’s an opportunity for us to go there, bounce back and get a positive result.”