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Wolves boss McCarthy unhappy with red card at Liverpool

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Sending-off was harsh - McCarthy

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was "not convinced" by the dismissal of Stephen Ward which proved pivotal in his side's 2-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.

Referee Andre Marriner first penalised Christophe Berra after Ward had tripped Lucas but remonstrations from the home players saw him change the decision.

The sides were locked at 0-0 at the time, but goals from Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun followed the red card.

"I'm not convinced, I think it's a harsh sending-off," said McCarthy.

"They eventually got the right player but I don't think he fouled him.

"There's no clash of legs, Benayoun's trying to hold him off and Wardy's trying to grapple with him, but I think he's run out of room and he's gone over."

606: DEBATE

Wolves remain at the wrong end of the table but McCarthy was pleased with the way his side performed at Anfield.

"We weren't in any danger, we've been playing well and were catching them on the break from time to time," said McCarthy. "Liverpool needed a break and got one.

"Maybe they got a break with a sending off that was a bit harsh and they've reduced a team that was expected to get beat here to 10 men, and they took advantage of it."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was delighted that his struggling side claimed the three points and insisted that Ward's red card had been warranted.

"We wanted to win, we needed to win and we won, so I'm really happy, really pleased," said the Spaniard.

"The sending-off for me was clear and then after the first goal of Gerrard the game was open and we had more space, more time, and then we were more dangerous."

Benitez admitted he was not happy with referee Marriner's mistake in the build-up to Ward's red card.

Aquilani will improve - Benitez

"We knew it was number 11, the fourth official knew too and it was very clear," said Benitez.

"I was really surprised because the linesman has to be advising the referee, so a big mistake but in the end it was the right decision."

Benitez also defended Alberto Aquilani's performance on his long-awaited first Premier League start for the Reds.

The £20m Italian has been hampered by an ankle injury since arriving from Roma in the summer and looked well short of match fitness against Wolves.

"I think he was trying to find the right pass, he was trying to be involved, but still he will need to improve his match fitness," said Benitez.

"Also the tempo of the Premier League is not easy, but he was trying and that is the main thing for us.

"He will need time - it's always a question for everyone trying to become fit, they need time."



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see also
Liverpool 2-0 Wolves
26 Dec 09 |  Premier League


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