Liverpool FC: Brendan Rodgers blasts Phil Dowd over penalties and red card
Dowd awarded two penalties against Liverpool and sent off Reds defender Daniel Agger early in the second-half as Rodgers’ side were beaten 3-0 at The Hawthorns, their worst opening day defeat since 1937.
Rodgers revealed afterwards that the club would look into the possibility of appealing Agger’s dismissal. The Dane would miss next weekend’s home game with Manchester City if the red card is upheld.
“It is something we will look into,” said Rodgers. “I’m not one to go on about referees, but in the second half I thought the two (penalty) decisions – three if you include the sending off – were very, very harsh.
Rodgers admitted that it had been a day to forget for his side, who had trailed at half-time to Zoltan Gera’s wonderstrike, having bossed the opening period.
“It was a bad day at the office for us,” he said. “(A result like this) never is acceptable when you are at a club of this status and size, but it was always going to be a difficult game, and I felt we started the game reasonably well up until the goal.
“The players have given me everything today, they ran themselves into the ground, but obviously in the second half it went against us. There are going to be other days of hurt. All we can do is say congratulations to West Brom. The reality is that they deserved it.”
On a miserable day, which saw Joe Cole limp off just nine minutes into his substitute appearance, Rodgers was left in no doubt as to the size of the job he has taken on at Anfield.
“I knew the challenge,” he said. “I know what the limitations are in terms of budget and money, and the reality is that the team finished 8th last year, and there are reasons behind that.
“It’s a big challenge here, and when you lose a game like we did today it is obviously difficult to take. But I’ve known all along the size of the challenge here, and it’s one I will take.
Rodgers did, however, reserve some praise for debutant Joe Allen.
“I thought he was outstanding,” he said. “For a boy to walk into a new team and perform like that, I thought he was superb. His body work, passing and ability to get on the ball was excellent.”