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

for us.”