Mick hits out after Ward red card
Mick McCarthy criticised Rafael Benitez and the match officials
after Stephen Ward’s dismissal helped Liverpool beat Wolves 2-0 at
West Midlands official Andre Marriner initially booked the
wrong player, Christophe Berra. But he finally realised it was Ward
who should have received a second yellow card, and then a red, for
a foul on Lucas Leiva just minutes after he had been cautioned for
pulling Yossi Benayoun’s shirt.
The incident sparked an exchange on the touchline between
McCarthy and Liverpool boss Benitez. McCarthy sarcastically
applauded his opposite number as the officials finally arrived at
the right decision to dismiss Ward.
That gave Liverpool the break they needed for Steven Gerrard
and Benayoun to grab the goals to secure a vital win for the nervy
Reds. But afterwards McCarthy questioned the role of fourth
official Phil Dowd in the rumpus and suggested he had told Marriner
about his error. McCarthy said: “The referee did get the right
player, but he had some flipping help, didn’t he?
“I just wonder if he had any assistance. I did not think that
Phil Dowd (the fourth official) knew who it was either, but people
were in his ear about it.
“I don’t know if Phil Dowd told the referee who it was. I
wonder that if you can get assistance from the fourth official,
maybe Ireland would still be in the World Cup.
“Without that (decision), we would have got something from
the game. We had enough chances.
“But we gave a good account of ourselves and they needed a
break. And they got it and took advantage of it.” He added: “I
believe the referee was told who it was (who should have been
booked). He wasn’t sure and was told fairly quickly.
“Of course it is good for the game, definitely. I can’t see
why they shouldn’t help out, but you just bitch about it when it
happens to you.
“They should get the right decision, be it from TV or the
fourth official. I would have wanted the same if it had been me.
“It was very frustrating, disappointing. We had played well
for an hour and looked comfortable enough.
“I was not convinced by the sending off and how much contact
there was with Stephen Ward and Lucas. I cannot see it.
“I was annoyed with Rafa (Benitez), fed up, I wanted to win.
We had an exchange. I applauded because I felt he helped get the
lad sent off.
“I’d have probably done the same. We are not out there to be
the best of mates, I’m OK with him now, it’s the way it is.”
Benitez seemed to agree that Dowd became involved. Benitez
said: “The fourth official was saying, number 11, number 11.
“The referee got it right. The sending off changed the game,
against 11 men it is difficult in the Premier League, but against
10 men who are soon 1-0 behind, the game becomes more open.
“In the first half Wolves had some chances and they were
dangerous. But in the second period we were in control.
“The win was very important for our confidence. We scored
twice against 10 men, but it was a win and that is a big positive