Benitez dismayed by referee Dowd

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Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has vented his fury at the deicisons today of referee Phil Dowd during the Reds’ 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

The visitors had two late penalty decisions turned down by the match official, one of which looked to be a clear-cut foul on Andriy Voronin when the subsitute was through on goal.

Dowd’s decision to wave play on enfuriated assistant manager Sammy Lee, who was ordered out of the dug-out minutes later.

After the game, Benitez told reporters, “Everybody could see there was a penalty against Voronin. It was so clear, it is unbelievable.”

Liverpool had been given a penalty earlier in the game when Gerrard converted to equalise. But Benitez continued, “With this referee, I knew another penalty was impossible.”

“We had a meeting the other day, and they said we cannot talk about the referee as a person or the decisions, but I think everybody today could see the situation.”

Benitez was also dismissive of today’s fourth official, Stuart Atwell.

“The fourth official is a young referee, and maybe he needs to calm down a bit,” Benitez added.

“I do not know how old he is, but the fourth official is too young.”

The result replicated Liverpool’s trip to White Hart Lane last season in November when their 2-1 defeat to the hands of Spurs was their first defeat of the season.

Benitez was unhappy with the team’s performance, which leaves them playing catch-up to the rest of the top four – who all won their opening Premier League games.

“We didn’t play well, especially the first half, but we were much better in the second half,” he continued.

“We pushed harder and had more options in the final third, but clearly we have to improve if we want to win these kind of games.

“We have to improve in the middle and keep the ball more and pass it better. The understanding has to be better. As a team we were not comfortable in possession in the first half.

“We were playing against a good team so we knew we needed to play well. We didn’t but we have another game on Wednesday against Stoke and we have to improve.”

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