‘Outstanding’ Sterling not to blame for Liverpool’s humiliation at Arsenal – Rodgers

first_img1 Raheem Sterling Brendan Rodgers refused to use Raheem Sterling’s contract saga as an excuse for Liverpool’s horror show at Arsenal.The Merseysiders were blown away by the Gunners at the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime to leave their top four hopes in tatters.But Rodgers was adamant that the intense speculation over Sterling’s future ahead of the big game, not helped by an unsanctioned interview given by the starlet, played no part in his side’s 4-1 defeat.The 20-year-old won a second-half penalty for Liverpool, which Jordan Henderson converted, and Rodgers felt he was his side’s standout performer.Asked if the Sterling situation had played a role in the disappointing display, Rodgers told BT Sport, “No, not really. I thought Raheem was outstanding today, in fairness the kid’s done great today.“It’s not distractions, we were just poor defensively. You see from our record the last six games we haven’t conceded away from home. It’s just a disappointing day when you concede bad goals, you’re always going to be up against it against a team that’s obviously got good confidence.”Liverpool’s misery was compounded by a late red card for Emre Can, adding to their defensive woes, but Rodgers felt the German had been unlucky to get a second yellow card for what appeared to be a scissor challenge, with his manager saying he had slipped.“In all fairness, he’s not that type of player,” Rodgers said. “It’s a wonderful surface here, but it’s actually quite greasy, quite slippy with the way they water it. He’s tried to reach around the back with the right foot but then slips with his left and then it looks like a scissor challenge, but I know him well enough to know he’s not like that.”last_img read more

Man United loanee gives away late penalty… as ball hits him in the face

first_imgManchester United loanee Chris Smalling conceded a late penalty in Roma’s draw with Borussia Monchengladbach – despite the ball hitting his face.The 29-year-old went to head a free-kick away in the third minute of second half injury time, but referee Willie Collum awarded a penalty to Monchengladbach for handball in the Europa League clash on Thursday. Smalling joined Roma on loan from Manchester United in August.The £80million arrival of Harry Maguire meant the defender became surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.Smalling has helped Roma keep two clean sheets in five appearances so far, and the Italians are said to be keen on signing him permanently when the transfer window reopens in January. Chris Smalling was unjustly penalised Replays showed the ball clearly hitting Smalling’s face, rather than his hand.Despite protests from Smalling and his team-mates, the decision stood and Lars Stindl converted the spot-kick to cancel out Nicolo Zaniolo’s 32nd minute opener.A stunned Smalling tweeted after the game: “Disbelief that this decision went against us…“We deserved the 3 points, so disappointed…” #ASRoma’s management spoke to the match officials after the game and they admitted that the decision to award the penalty was a mistake. We respect and thank them for their genuine honesty and now we focus on the next game. #ForzaRoma pic.twitter.com/tyPZlJxMxE— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 24, 2019center_img Disbelief that this decision went against us…We deserved the 3 points, so disappointed… https://t.co/8MDLyhu4HX— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) October 24, 2019Afterwards, Roma’s management team spoke to the match officials, who admitted the penalty decision was a mistake.VAR will not be introduced to the Europa League until the final, which will take place in Gdansk, Poland next May.The Italian club wrote on Twitter: “#ASRoma’s management spoke to the match officials after the game and they admitted that the decision to award the penalty was a mistake.“We respect and thank them for their genuine honesty and now we focus on the next game. #ForzaRoma.” 1 Getty Images – Getty last_img read more