Rafa rues Masch sending-off

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez admitted his side never recovered from Javier Mascherano's first-half dismissal as the Reds slumped to a 2-0 loss at rock-bottom Portsmouth.

The Argentina international was dismissed for a horror-tackle on Tal Ben Haim, although Pompey had already broken the deadlock through Nadir Belhadj at that stage.

Benitez said:"I have seen the replay of the red card and for me it is not a sending off but anyway, the referee was perfect, he didn't make any mistake.

"Now Javier is injured and I will say again the referee didn't make any mistakes. He was perfect. I have seen the replay, for me it is not a sending off, but anyway, perfect.

"If you analyse the first half we were doing well, even with their goal but then came the Mascherano incident.

"We were a good team in the first half and the sending off changed everything.

"We had some chances, we should have scored, we were controlling the game and everything changed with Mascherano. Now we have to hope we can win our next game."

Subscribe to Football FanCast News Headlines by Email