Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson struck a defiant tone after his side's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Monday. A controversial James Milner penalty and a late breakaway strike by Sadio Mane were sufficient to sink the Eagles.
Speaking to the press after the match, and quoted by the Crystal Palace website, Hodgson insisted: "It wasn’t a penalty. I’ve been in football a long time, and if that is a penalty then the game has changed beyond all recognition."
The former England manager continued: "Mamadou [Sakho] is trying to defend and there is no way he is looking to foul the player [Mohamed Salah] or get contact on him at all."
Salah seemed to go to ground somewhat easily under Sakho's challenge, so Hodgson's reaction is understandable. The Palace manager pointedly added: "If people can’t see that, then I’ll be the pariah who sees only what he wants to see."
The award of Liverpool's penalty wasn't the only refereeing decision which infuriated Hodgson, as he explained: "I also don’t think it was a foul on James Milner when we had a counter-attacking chance, and I do think it was a penalty in the last minutes when Max Meyer gets wiped out in the area by [Virgil] van Dijk."
Nevertheless, Hodgson didn't dispute the dismissal of full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. "He [Wan-Bissaka] definitely touches him [Mohamed Salah] so there’s no question it was a sending off," admitted the 71-year-old.
On a more positive note, Hodgson hailed his side's start to the Premier League season. "From the first two games I’ve got to be satisfied with what the team has shown," he insisted, before adding ruefully: "It’s a frustrating and bitter way to lose in the way we have lost today."
The Eagles will next take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday, with the Hornets looking to continue their winning start to the season.