Both red cards were harsh – Rodgers

The Anfield boss believes that West Ham’s first goal was key in their 3-0 defeat and defended Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho following his second-half dismissal

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested that the red cards given to Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble were harsh, questioning the performance of referee Kevin Friend.

The Reds slumped to a 3-0 home defeat to Slaven Bilic’s side as goals from Manuel Lanzini, captain Noble and Diafra Sakho wrapped up a comprehensive result.

But Rodgers, who saw Brazil international Coutinho dismissed after 52 minutes for a foul on Dmitri Payet, believes that the referee’s decisions were harsh.

“I though both sending-offs were very, very harsh,” Rodgers said.

“Coutinho getting sent off was extremely harsh.

“He [referee Kevin Friend] must have real good ears if he can hear what he’s saying. He’s not that kind of player.”

Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season, with Lanzini’s West Ham opener proving crucial, according to Rodgers.

“We went into the game with confidence high but when you give away a goal so early it gave West Ham the boost they needed. It set us back a wee bit”, the Reds boss added.

“After the first three weeks we gave the fans some hope but we were poor today.

“We gave poor goals away and that’s the biggest disappointment. At this level you have to be able to bounce back.

The 42-year-old also outlined the difficulties that Premier League sides have been facing at home this season, indicating that, of Saturday’s home sides, four out of seven suffered defeat.

“In the results today four of the seven teams have lost at home. It’s going to be a difficult league to get your wins in,” he concluded.

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