Rafa Benitez criticised the performance of the referee following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
Benitez accused the referee Konrad Plautz of bias last night after John Arne Riise’s last gasp own-goal cost Liverpool a valuable lead in their Champions League semi-final first leg with Chelsea.
“It’s difficult to understand,” said the Spaniard. “There were 94 or 95 minutes and every decision went against us. All the corners, free-kicks and fouls. But, in the end, it was an own-goal.
“It’s not the first time. We knew before the game it was going to be difficult [with this referee]. Against Marseille it was more or less the same. You can’t blame the referee for the own-goal at the end but the time? One minute in the first half, four in the second. It’s difficult to explain.”
Benítez also criticised the referee for a push by Ashley Cole on Dirk Kuyt inside the Chelsea penalty area, an offence that went unpunished.
“The first four fouls against us were for pushing,” he added. “I saw one of their players pushing with two hands in the penalty area and nothing given. I’ve seen too many things tonight but I don’t want to say too much.”
The Liverpool manager admitted his own side should have made more of several clear cut opportunities, with Chelsea’s goalkeeper Petr Cech denying Kuyt, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.
“We had three clear chances,” continued Benitez. “In these kind of games it’s not easy to create too many chances. We had three clear chances and we needed to take them. The body language was clear. If you concede a goal at the end, you must be really disappointed. But we need to go to Stamford Bridge to win. We had our chances. If we have them again there, we’ll take them. We have enough confidence in ourselves even if it is going to be difficult.
“Watching the team today, especially in the first 30 minutes of the second half, I have confidence. We can do it if we work as we did today and have a bit of luck. Look at the chances we had and the chances they had. There was a massive difference in the numbers and how clear things were.”