Everton manager David Moyes has slammed referee Martin Atkinson for showing Jack Rodwell a red card in Liverpool's 2-0 derby win at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The home side were furious with Atkinson's decision to send off Rodwell in the 23rd minute for a challenge on Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. The Reds went on to win thanks to second-half goals from Andy Carroll and Suarez.
Moyes believes the decision ruined Everton's chances of winning the game and says he did not feel the tackle even merited a free-kick for Liverpool.
“I thought it ruined the game,” Moyes told reporters after the game. “A lot of people ask about tackles and sendings off in derbies but it's nothing to do with that.
“I would have been disappointed if it had been a free-kick, if he had given a yellow card you would have thought 'what is that for?'
“Jack is a young boy who is making his way in the game. I don't think anyone in this world would think it's a red card.
“I thought it wasn't a bad game when it was 11 against 11, but the game stopped at that moment.”
Moyes has history with Atkinson having been fined last season for improper conduct the last time he officiated an Everton game, the 3-3 home draw with Manchester United last season.
But the Scot was eager not to place the sole blame on Atkinson and was unhappy with his team's lack of concentration in conceding both goals.
Moyes added: “The team gave everything. It was not the referee who cost us the game, we made a couple of defensive lapses.
“We were just beginning to grow into the game a bit when they scored. We were in there competing with Liverpool, which we always try to do.”