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With Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor both signed, Manchester City have been cut again to break the hallowed big 4 in 2009/10 – do you think they can do it?

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was left fuming at the decision to deny his side two penalties in their 2-1 Premier League defeat at Tottenham on Sunday.

Referee Phil Dowd ruled that Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s challenge on Andriy Voronin and a handball later from the same player were not penalties.

“The decisions were very poor,” said the 49-year-old Spaniard.

“Everyone could see the first one was a penalty. The second one was handball but we knew it would not be a penalty.”

Benitez was also unhappy with fourth official Stuart Atwell, who sent off Reds assistant manager Sammy Lee for protesting about the alleged handball.

“For the fourth official, he is a young referee and maybe he has to calm down a little bit. He is too young,” added Benitez.

Benitez suggested that official Dowd was swayed not to give Liverpool another spot-kick by his awarding of one already in the match.

“With this referee, I knew this [another penalty] was impossible,” he stated.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp dismissed the claims of a penalty against Assou-Ekotto and said: “I did not think Liverpool’s shout for a second penalty was right as Assou-Ekotto has just eased Voronin off the ball.

“It is the kind of bread-and-butter stuff that defenders do week in, week out. The ball was also running away from Voronin.”

Meanwhile, Benitez felt his side’s performance was below-par as they failed to match the opening wins of the season by likely title rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

“We have to improve in the middle, keeping the ball, and the understanding has to be better,” conceded Benitez.

“But it is too early, and we have another game on Wednesday when clearly we have to improve in the possession.”

With Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor both signed, Manchester City have been cut again to break the hallowed big 4 in 2009/10 – do you think they can do it?

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