Brendan Rodgers says Samuel Eto’o should have been sent off for his challenge on Jordan Henderson early on in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea.
Liverpool boss Rodgers described Eto’o’s challenge as “wild” when he spoke to Sky Sports following the defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Although Liverpool scored following the resultant free-kick through Martin Skrtel, Eto’o later went on to net the winner.
And Rodgers does not believe the Cameroonian should have been on the pitch, per Sky Sports:
He was very fortunate even though it's so early in the game. Howard (Webb) was excellent today but that was a poor challenge.
I know we scored from it but he's raked his studs down the leg and shin and I'm surprised he didn't get a card.
He (Eto'o) should've been sent off. I know we scored from it, but that was a wild challenge, where he's raked down his knee and down his shin and didn't even get a yellow card.
It is the second time in three days that Rodgers has criticised a referee’s performance.
Following Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City, Rodgers questioned the impartiality of referee Lee Mason, who hails from Bolton.
BBC Sport reported that the Football Association is investigating those comments, and Rodgers was more diplomatic in his assessment of World Cup final referee, Webb.
Liverpool legend Dietmar Hamann took to Twitter following the challenge. The former midfielder did not believe the decision was so telling.
Jose Mourinho attempted to shield Eto’o from criticism in his Sky Sports post-match conference:
For some weeks I have been criticising him a lot internally for his failure to adapt to what the Premier League is in terms of physicality so if he had a tackle deserving of a card it was my fault because I'm asking him to adapt to this.
The defeat, Liverpool’s second on the spin, leaves them fifth behind Merseyside rivals Everton going into 2014.
But sitting only one point off the Champions League spots at the halfway stage of the season, the Reds have the opportunity to qualify for the first time since the 2009/10 season.
Their chances are very much dependent on the availability of Luis Suarez, who has bagged 19 goals in the Premier League this season. Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror reported that the Uruguayan has signed a new £10-million-a-year contract last week, which includes a rumoured £100 million buy-out clause, or £130 million for an English club.