New Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was left to muse on how football has changed after a "joke" penalty and the sending-off of his skipper Steven Gerrard condemned the Reds to a 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United.
Dalglish's return to English football was shaped by two key decisions from World Cup final referee Howard Webb who awarded a penalty after Daniel Agger appeared to trip Dimitar Berbatov and sent off Gerrard for a challenge on Michael Carrick.
"The penalty is a joke," said Dalglish. "I have seen the replay and unless they have changed the rules it is no penalty. The other one, I cannot see that as a red card either."
He added: "In the dressing room before the game someone said to me the game's not changed that much. I said 'I thought it was a non-contact sport'. Maybe I was right."
Dalglish has more important matters to occupy his mind though, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson with the stage to outline a differing view of Agger's challenge on Berbatov inside the opening 30 seconds and Gerrard's subsequent lunge on Carrick.
"It was a penalty," he argued. "Dimitar says he was definitely clipped. The replay shows he slightly touched him but the momentum is enough to bring the player down.
"There is no reason for him to go down anyway. He is not that kind of player.
"He is on the by-line, he is in the penalty box. I think it was right.
"As for the sending off, there was no doubt. It was two-footed and he was off the ground.
"Steven Gerrard is not that type of player but it was a reckless challenge. I don't think he left the referee with any option."
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