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Sunderland boss Keane furious after Liverpool defeat

Sunderland boss Roy Keane was furious with the match officials after their 3-0 defeat by Liverpool.

The contentious moment came with the hosts 2-0 up but under intense pressure.

It looked as if Jamie Carragher handled the ball above his head as he dived in to block a Daryl Murphy shot, but referee Rob Styles turned down appeals.

Liverpool were leading through goals from Peter Crouch and Fernando Torres and they added a late Steven Gerrard penalty.

But Keane pointedly referred back to a decision Styles made at Anfield back in August when he awarded a debatable penalty in Chelsea's favour.

After that incident the official apologised to Liverpool but was demoted as punishment.

"We were never going to get a penalty today, never. Rob was referee here when he gave Chelsea a penalty against Liverpool earlier in the season and he was demoted after that game," said Keane.

"Carragher lifted his hand above his head and we have been told last week when we had Howard Webb (another Premier League referee) at our training ground that such an incident would be a penalty.

"Rob gave a penalty against us at Blackburn this season against Danny Higginbotham when he did just the same thing. As I said, we were never going to get a penalty here."

For under-pressure LiverpoolRafael Benitez there was only relief as he expressed the importance of a first league win since Boxing Day.

After the match thousands of fans on the Kop and in the main stand stayed behind to protest against the club's owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

The Americans have secured a refinancing package for their purchase of the club 12 months ago and have seen off a potential takeover bid from Dubai International Capital.

Since then a fans' group has been formed at Liverpool with the intention of raising £500million to buy the club and to turn it into a Barcelona-style 'members club'.

Benitez, though, was only concerned with his side's victory.

He said: "It was important to score the first goal, important to win and important to find our confidence.

"The fans were very patient. It was a frustrating first half but they stayed with us and in the end we gave them something to be happy about because they have not been getting the performances they deserve of late."

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Tribal Football Staff

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