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“We got robbed” – Harry Kewell slams referee after defeat in Asia’s biggest cup final

Former Liverpool man Harry Kewell has slammed the performance of the referee after his team fell to defeat in the AFC Champions League, saying his side were “robbed.”

The 45-year-old is the manager of Yokohama Marinos in Japan, a post he has held since December after moving away from management in the EFL.

He quickly led his side to the final of the most prestigious club competition in Asian football, the AFC Champions League, which pitted his side against Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain.

Unlike the European version, the final of this competition is over two legs, it allows both teams to play at home – and it was Kewell’s side that played host to the first leg.

They finished the 90 minutes with a 2-1 advantage, and on Saturday made the trip to Abu Dhabi, where they were put to the sword to lose 5-1, with the tie ending 6-3 on aggregate.

Yokohama Marinos had to play the second half with just 10 men after their goalkeeper was sent off, and Kewell was incensed with the referee falling for Al Ain’s theatrics.

“My players were fantastic. It’s just a shame that we got robbed tonight by a bad referee,” Kewell was quoted as saying.

“I thought the refereeing decisions were shocking, they were terrible. They were playing the game, and he fell for it. But congratulations.”

When talking of his club’s travelling fans, he dug the knife in a little deeper, saying: “They’re fantastic … it’s just a shame it wasn’t a fair enough game to be able to put on a good show.”

You expect he may have a case to answer to with those comments!

The referee awarded nine fouls against Kewell’s side and eight in his favour, while also showing two yellow cards to Al Ain’s players – but that clearly will not soothe the ex-Red after a bitter end to his bid for the trophy.

Instead, it was Hernan Crespo who lifted the trophy with his side – 19 years to the day when the duo met in the Champions League final in Istanbul!