Date: 23rd January 2006 at 1:12pm
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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez struggled to keep his mouth shut after defeat at Old Trafford, and pointed to the referee for this rare Scouse defeat.

Benitez was first upset that Wayne Rooney’s lunge on Florent Sinama-Pongolle brought only a yellow card, then blamed the referee Mike Riley for the loss of a point when he awarded United the free-kick that won the match.

Benitez: ‘I do not want to talk about the decisions of the referee. Sometimes I do not understand, so I prefer not to talk about it. We have lost a game we were controlling in the last minute, to a free-kick. That is not normal but we can’t change it now.’

Sir Alex put it down to the time the goal was scored.

Ferguson: ‘You are not going to be happy if you lose to a goal in the last minute. It is difficult to take and difficult to get out of your mind.

‘There is no reason why Rio can’t do that more often. Hopefully this little run gives him the confidence and encouragement to attack the ball in the penalty area.

‘He has a marvellous leap and is a great header of the ball. He is 6ft 4in, has a big head and great spring, so there is no reason why he shouldn’t get more goals.’