The Reds are practically through to the Champions League knockout stages after a 1-1 draw with Atletico, although it appears they had to rely on a piece of gamesmanship to land a precious point on Tuesday night. The visitors looked to be on their way to a historic victory at Anfield, before a collision on the edge of the penalty area led to the referee blowing his whistle.
The Guardian reports that Steven Gerrard is far from sure that it was a definite spot-kick, although the vast majority of viewers would have been scratching their heads in disbelief after Martin Hansson awarded a penalty. Even if it was a foul by Mariano Pernía, surely the original offence was outside the area?
Gerrard had his reservations but denied the penalty was the result of any theatrics on his part. “I’m not sure it was a penalty. I got there first and I think if that is outside the area you get a free-kick,” the Liverpool captain said. “If it happened at the other end we would be livid. That’s football. It’s a point and we move on.”
Four Atlético players were booked in a chaotic aftermath while a Spanish journalist asked Javier Aguirre, the coach, whether the decision was evidence of a Uefa conspiracy to punish the club for recent crowd trouble at Vicente Calderón. “I didn’t see anything untoward going on at all,” side-stepped Aguirre, who was restricted to the stand for this game due to a Uefa suspension. “It is not my habit to talk about referees and I am not going to break that habit now.”
No wonder the Liverpool captain is so sheepish about the incident, after he practically threw himself on the Atletico defender in a last-ditch attempt to get something out of the match. Did the Reds deserve to land a draw, or have they been Luckypool once again?