Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Controversial penalty costs Liverpool vs. Manchester United

We haven’t been a Premier League fan as long as most, but we’ve been following the league long enough to not be surprised.

Liverpool dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Manchester United on Sunday thanks to a classic Manchester United call that led to a Robin van Persie penalty kick that proved to be the winning margin.

Playing with 10 men after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off shortly before half time, Liverpool fought Manchester United and the officials all day long and, in the end, couldn’t stop United from walking out of Anfield with their first win in five years.

“If Jonjo gets sent off then Jonny Evans has to be sent off as well,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told The Guardian. “It was a tackle that both players had to go for but the Liverpool player can’t be sent off and the Manchester United player stay on. It was very, very harsh and that’s how it was throughout the game. There were a number of poor decisions that cost us.”

Liverpool took an early lead on Steven Gerrard’s goal, but United answered back in the second on a goal by Rafael at the 51 minute mark and then the penalty kick from van Persie at 81 minutes.

It was the first home match for Liverpool since the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report which exonerated fans in relation to the 1989 disaster and the squad did its best to send the fans home happy. But, in the end, it was not to be.

“I thought the players were heroic in terms of performance and the spirit,” Rodgers said. “They were brilliant and didn’t get what they deserved.”

Liverpool is winless through five matches so far and currently sit at 18th place in the table.

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