Rodgers: Referee got every decision right against Southampton

The Saints felt that they should have had at least two spot-kicks at St Mary's but the Reds boss insisted that the match official was 100 per cent right to rule otherwise
Brendan Rodgers praised referee Kevin Friend in the wake of a number of debatable decisions in Liverpool's 2-0 win at Southampton.

Goals from Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling earned the Reds all three points at St Mary's, and the Saints were left to rue a number of rejected penalty appeals.

Filip Djuricic appeared to be pulled back by Dejan Lovren in the area inside two minutes, before Joe Allen brought him down with a slide tackle just seconds after Coutinho's wonder strike.

Southampton then appealed for a red card when Simon Mignolet charged down Eljero Elia's effort and looked to handle the ball outside the area, but Rodgers praised Friend's performance during the match.

When asked about the repeated appeals, Rodgers told Sky Sports: "The player has gone over far too easy, no way that was a penalty. I thought referee Kevin Friend was excellent and I think all his decisions were right.

"To come here and keep a clean sheet is a great effort."

Rodgers also praised Liverpool's control throughout the game, with the Reds in action just three days after their 1-0 win over Besiktas in the Europa League.

"It was a game we wanted a positive result from," he added. "Through winning it we would go three points behind third place, it would be a huge result and it was.

"We controlled the game as it went on. Our passing could have been better but the conditions were bad. To come here after a European game and get a win, it's a great result from the players."