Bruce vents fury at Valencia verdict

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Football News

Wigan manager Steve Bruce claimed two decisions from referee Alan Wiley cost his team the game as they lost 3-2 at Liverpool.

Bruce pointed to a yellow card for Antonio Valencia for encroaching at a free-kick, and then another booking for the same player for a foul on Xabi Alonso, that he claimed "changed the game"..

"The referee got the first booking for Valencia wrong," said Bruce. "The Liverpool player took the kick, and Valencia did not encroach towards it until the ball had been kicked. So he got that one wrong. Then there is the tackle on Alonso, in which I felt the lad touched the ball. I felt that was harsh."

Valencia was sent off playing for Ecuador last weekend, and with 16 minutes to go at Anfield saw red again, this time with Wigan 2-1 ahead.

But the 10-man Latics could not hold out and Albert Riera grabbed an equaliser before Dirk Kuyt struck a late winner.

Earlier Egyptian striker Amr Zaki had taken his tally for the season to eight with a double which put Wigan ahead at the break, Kuyt's first separating the two goals from the visitors.

"In my opinion we were robbed. It is a joke that we have not come away from this match with something," he added. "Those decisions changed the whole course of the game. With 11 against 11 we would not have lost. But there were a lot of tired bodies out there and we could not hold out."

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez saw his side maintain their unbeaten record this season, and stay in second place on goal difference from Chelsea.

"We started badly, but Dirk Kuyt did us proud in this game," said Benitez. "The whole side showed great character to come back like that again. We did something similar at Manchester City a fortnight ago, and maybe I would like a calmer time on the bench."

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Manchester City
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Xabi Alonso
Dirk Kuyt
Wigan Athletic
Amr Zaki
Antonio Valencia

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