Manchester City’s Micah Richards slams referee Phil Dowd over ‘poor’ penalty decision in League Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool

The England international was angered after being harshly penalised, saying officials can't demand respect if they lack any kind of consistency

Manchester City defender Micah Richards has slammed referee Phil Dowd following his decision to award Liverpool a contentious penalty in the League Cup semi-final second-leg on Wednesday.

Richards and City were dumped out 3-2 on aggregate after drawing at Anfield with Steven Gerrard scoring the controversial penalty to cancel out Nigel de Jong's opener, and Craig Bellamy struck with 15 minutes to go, leveling after Edin Dzeko put the visitors ahead for the second time.

Richards was penalised when Daniel Agger’s shot rebounded off his foot and struck his arm leading to Dowd pointing to the penalty spot with Gerrard making no mistake from 12 yards.

He told CityTV after the game: “I think the referee made a poor decision for the penalty, it’s hit my foot and gone onto my hand I don’t know what he expects me to do with that.

“As a decision I wouldn’t say it cost us today but it played a massive part.

“It’s hurting, everyone goes on about respecting the referees but it’s their decisions that are sometimes costing us. I give my full support to the referees but those sort of decisions unless you’re 100% sure you shouldn’t really be giving them.”

Despite feeling aggrieved at the decision, Richards feels City weren’t at their best at Anfield and gave full credit to Kenny Dalglish’s side for progressing to the League Cup final.

He added: “We tried to give 100%. We didn’t play as good as thought we could play tonight, we just didn’t get a grip of the game.

“We scored two decent goals but they were always going to be a threat at home, coming here and beating them was always going be a hard task. 

“I think we lost it in the first game when we lost 1-0. We can’t be too bitter Liverpool worked hard and in the end probably deserved the win. It was obviously an outstanding goal by Nigel he played very well for us today. “

The defender is delighted Vincent Kompany will return to the team for the weekend’s game against Everton, while he also added he was thrilled to captain the team, even if they failed to reach Wembley.

He continued: “We’ve got a boost with Vinny [Vincent Kompany] coming back and we’ve got other stuff going on but we’ll keep strong and we’ll look forward to our next game which is Everton and we’ll try and go there and get a win.

“It was an honour being captain and I’m gutted I couldn’t lead us to a final but I’m happy Vinny’s coming back and normal service will be resumed.”