Everton manager David Moyes was incredulous at referee Martin Atkinson's decision to send off midfielder Jack Rodwell in Everton's 2-0 defeat in the 216th Merseyside derby.

The 20-year-old was dismissed in the 23rd minute for an innocuous-looking tackle on Luis Suarez in the centre of the pitch. On a hot day the Toffees worked valiantly to reduce the impact of their numerical disadvantage but their resolve was eventually broken by goals from Andy Carroll and Suarez in the final 19 minutes.

"I thought it ruined the game," said Moyes of the red card. "There are a lot of questions that people ask about derbies, tackles and sendings-off but that wasn't down to a bad tackle."

He added: "I would have been disappointed if it had been a free-kick and if he had given a yellow card you would have said 'what is that for?'.

"It would have been hard playing Liverpool 11 v 11 - it was a really tough game for us and it became tougher."

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish steered well clear of the controversy.

"I haven't seen the incident so I don't know whether he deserved the red or not," he said.

"I think after they went down to 10 men we were very professional and composed and thorough in what we were trying to do.

"Sometimes it is difficult to play against 10 and it was difficult because you know what you are going to get from Everton.

"It was never going to be easy for us but I think the way we went about it was great credit to ourselves."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Kenny Dalglish
Everton
Luis Suarez
Liverpool
Jack Rodwell